let’s be human: a reminder for mother’s day

It is Mother’s Day week.

Man, does this day bring up so much.

It hits all of us.

Those who are mothers. Those who have had great mothers. Those who haven’t.

Adopted, not yet a mom, divorced, abandoned, infertile; the list is literally endless. None of us can escape the beauty or the loss of this day.

This stuff has always been there. Thankfully, I think we’re just getting a little better at talking about it.

For months now I’ve been processing the fact that this year, I will have the title of “mom” for a decade. My son will be ten, and my daughter will be eight. And for almost eight years of their lives, they were my full-time job. I’ve just recently gone back to working outside of the home, and it’s basically sped up all of the time and caused me to reflect on what on earth I did with them during that time.

I’ve been sucked into baby videos and pictures and wondering how on earth they were that small.

But here’s what I’ve recognized for myself. I’m not grieving the loss of their tiny-ness. That season was HARD.

I’ve been grieving the version of me that they had.

The mom I had always hoped to be; and the reality of who I was and who I currently am.

This sounds depressing, but I’ve begun to wonder if maybe more of us are in this boat than we think.

I look back at these extremely formative years for my kids and the mom that they got is not who I would’ve picked for them. I look back and wish I would have done so much differently.

Rushed less.

Played more.

Slowed down just a smidge.

Gotten help a little earlier.

Let go of control more often.

I’m wondering if you’ve had these thoughts, too. Your kids may be three months or thirty years. This is what we do as women, though, isn’t it? We hold ourselves to a standard that most of the time, no one else is holding us to.

We want to be perfect for them. I really do. If I had my way, I would get it all right. I would really, really like to get it all right.

But let me ask you what I’ve asked myself: If I were a perfect parent, what would they need God for?

If we believe that God is real, then we must believe in all of His character traits and attributes. All of them. One can’t exist without the other.

He is kind and He is just.

He is sovereign and He is loving.

He is full of grace and truth.

He is both convicting and comforting.

If He created us and created our kids and we believe that His hand is over the whole thing – then He chose them for us. And He chose us for them.



You, with your control issues.

You, with your lack of belief in yourself.

You, with anxiety or depression.

You, with no earthly example of a healthy mom to model after.

Yes, you, with your questions and your doubts and your timidity.

You were never meant to be God to your kids. You were made to point them to Him.

The Lord knows your limitations and He knows your strengths. He knows theirs, too. He knows your kid that puts up a fight about just about every decision. He knows your kid that is too passive, too sensitive, too loud, too… fill in the blank.

It is not your job to fill in all of their holes, to fix what you’re afraid will turn out as brokenness as they grow up. It’s not your job to do everything exactly like your mom, or to never be like your mom – depending on which type you had.

The list of attributes we feel we must strive for feels really endless.

Kindness, dignity, love, gentleness, wisdom, perseverance, strength, humility, oof. How are we supposed to do it all?!

We aren’t.

God is saying to us,

My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 TPT

We were never meant to be more than human to anyone, least of all our kids. Should we seek wisdom and work on being the healthiest versions of ourselves? Yes. A thousand times, yes. But were we meant to beat ourselves up every time we feel like we get it wrong? That’s called shame, my friend. And shame comes from the accuser, not from our God.

Our only answer, then, is this:

So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. So I’m not defeated by my weaknesses, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment – when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ – I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 TPT

Our lack of superwoman-ness is not a curse – it’s a gift.

Let’s humanize ourselves. Let’s normalize asking for forgiveness from our children – I don’t care how old they are. Try saying, “I shouldn’t have done that.”

I promise you, it’s the shame that keeps us bound here. The shame of who the world tries to convince us we should be, when God has never put those expectations on us.

We don’t have to live in regret and we don’t have to live in fear.

We can trust that the God of the universe is our God, too.

It is only with the acceptance of this knowledge that we can learn how to be present and accept grace.

If not, we’ll strive, fail, and repeat.

I began this blog three days ago. And that night, I went to bed once again feeling pretty tired and defeated as a mom.

This isn’t a Mother’s Day thing. This is an every day, Monday morning, Thursday after school, in the middle of the night, for all times thing.

His grace really is sufficient. Accept it, and show the people He’s entrusted you with how to accept it, too.

Don’t worry about being supermom. Be human.

So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God, He created them…

Genesis 1:27

If you’re confused about revival

Apparently, revival is breaking out.

Have you heard? At Asbury University, it’s now been over a week that the doors of the chapel have been open and there has been nonstop worship. As of today, the same thing has happened at several college campuses.

My social media and my real life are absolutely flooded with opinions.

Is it real?

Is it authentic?

Is it revival at all?

I open Instagram to a little square that promises, “Revival is happening! God is moving!” I slide my thumb and the next square tells me that this isn’t a real revival. I scroll again and am bombarded with 8 squares in a row defining for me what revival is not. In this particular post, church influencers and celebrity pastors are mentioned as making the trek to experience what is happening. The majority of the post really was good. I think that it’s wise for us as Christ followers to line up what we see with what the word of God says. He says we can test these things. Just because someone called it revival doesn’t mean that it is. However, this post told me that, “Some are seeking for God, but many are seeking for association.”

And I got mad.

I stared at my screen and all of my insides collectively shouted – “How do you know?

This blog post is not about revival at all. It is not to differentiate whether revival is or is not happening.

I’m a little sorry if I used clickbait to get you here.

This post is about us. Our assumption of others. Our judgement that we label with discernment.

I’m really afraid of how comfortable we have gotten with judging the intentions of others.

We see behavior and we assume we know the motive. We believe that we can read between the lines and see behind the curtain. We’re pretty good at it, actually.

I used the word “we” on purpose. I am a culprit of this.

This isn’t new. Jesus addresses this a lot in Scripture.

“…Then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive. Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart.” [1 Kings 8:39 NLT]

The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” [1 Samuel 16:7[

People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.” [Proverbs 21:2]

Over and over God tells us that no one knows our hearts like He does.

It’s almost as if He is God like He says He is. God; the Creator of all things. God, the One who knits us together for almost an entire year, forming our features and our personalities. God, the One who has always been and always will be.

And somewhere along the way, without even recognizing it, we make ourselves out to be like God. This is what got satan in trouble, by the way. Yes, we are made in His image and reflect pieces of His character. But make no mistake, we are not Him. We are not all-knowing or ever present. Nor are we full of mercy and grace.

I’m just wondering if you feel a little tired like I do. Okay, fine. Really tired. I’m tired of trying to figure it out. I’m weary of my skepticism and my pride that tells me that I really can see what hides behind the outward appearance.

I know I’ve given you a bunch of scripture. Here’s one more from the message version:

“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”

[Jeremiah 17:9]

We’ve made ourselves the judge and jury on the motives and intentions of others. We do it with celebrities, pastors, musicians and influencers. Because of the nature of the world we live in, our phones give us the illusion that what we watch on the rectangular device in our hands is their actual life. We watch “real” videos of people getting ready for the day, taking care of their kids, working out and meal planning. And we actually believe the lie that it’s real. We let our apps convince us that people aren’t setting up a scene with a tripod and a ring light. Social media has allowed people individually to have their own reality show.

We give ourselves even more credit when it comes to those we actually know in real life. We watch their actions. We hear their words. We see where they go and where they don’t go. We assume the heck out of it all.

And it’s killing us.

It’s keeping us separated. It’s filling us up with self-righteousness and false humility. It’s blinding us to the sin in our own lives. It’s giving a lot of power to the rulers and powers of this world.

I wanted to soften this. I actually convinced myself several times not to post it at all.

But I’m so tired of it in my own life. I’m wondering if you are too.

Y’all. We don’t even know our own hearts. How on stinking earth are we supposed to know the hearts of others? We aren’t.

It isn’t up to you to decide if something is real or fake. Truly. You can decide who you follow. You can ask God about that. You can ask the Holy Spirit who you should trust and who you shouldn’t.

But you don’t need to define their authenticity or the state of their heart.

The reality is that even the worst situation imaginable involves people who are desperately loved by God.

I beg of you. Stop watching the videos that start with “People have been asking what I think about…” Watch what’s going on in the world around you and then stop watching and start asking God to show you what’s in your own heart.

This is how the world is changed. This is how we actually love. When we allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us what’s in us; not what we think is in other people.

All the other stuff?

The leader who isn’t walking in integrity.

The person who is getting promoted over you.

The blessings on the life of someone who abused you.

A group of young adults in Kentucky that someone named a revival.

God will handle it. He is Sovereign. He is Just.

He is longing to reveal to you what is in your heart so that you might create more space for His presence.

He is calling you to hidden places and deeper waters that don’t involve anyone else at all. It’s His lovingkindness that leads us to repentance. And if we’re too busy pointing out where others should be repenting, we breeze past this lovingkindness and we miss the call for more.

I just don’t want to miss it.

I don’t want to miss the move of God because my heart was busy deciding if someone else’s life was authentic. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to rid my heart of its junk and find the freedom that He promises me. I want to believe and see the good and trust that God is big enough to handle the not-so-good.

Do we stand for righteousness and call sin what it is? Yeah, we do.

And then we run to God in desperation and repentance, knowing that God has no favorites and no one has reached His glory.

God, give us clean hands and pure hearts.

Let real revival start in each of us; a returning, a reviving of our designed nature to bring glory to God alone.

I don’t know what you’ll do with this. And the beauty is, I don’t have to. God does.

I feel excited, scared, nervous, hopeful about what God is doing right now in the people around me.

But as for me? My prayer is that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart would be pleasing in your sight, Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

a reminder for the bad days

Have you ever had one of “those days?” Yes. THOSE DAYS.

It’s not so much that all the things that happen are so bad on their own, but when you add them all up… it equates to a pretty rough day. Or in some cases, days. In other cases, weeks or months or even years.

I recently had one of those days. Plural. Stomach bug for one kid, strep for the next. Waiting at urgent care over an hour longer than we should have. All of the pharmacies near me are out of the antibiotic we need. And then… this.

This is like the equivalent of stubbing your toe after a bad day except worse BECAUSE YOU PAID FOR IT. Oh, man. I did a lot of whining on this day. My husband and closest friend got a very pathetic version of me.

After I settled myself down, I started running over the day in my mind and was reminded of a pretty popular phrase. You know it? It says, “Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

Said another way: Grace.

I began thinking about my experience in Urgent Care and just how kind each employee was to me. They were dealing with emergencies back to back. Their work day was stressful and full. I cared that they had a harder day than normal. They cared that I waited so long with my sick little kid. The truth is we were all tired for one reason or another. But I chose to be kind and so did they. And it changed everything. Truthfully.


We need it so ridiculously much. It’s actually amazing to me what kindness and grace can do. I felt myself pushing against it in the waiting room. We shouldn’t have waited this long. We were here first. We only saw the doctor for five minutes. I am just done with sickness.

A few deep breaths and a reliance on the Holy Spirit reminded me that these people are people, and their day was hard, too.

Y’all. Everyone is doing their best, even if it doesn’t necessarily look like it to you.

This is what Jesus meant when He told us to love one another. He was telling us to give the benefit of the doubt. To be kind even when they aren’t. To take a pause. This kind of response isn’t reserved for within church walls.

No, the grace pouring out from our Father in and through us needs to spill on those we bump into at the grocery store, when we’re stuck in traffic, when we wait in doctor’s offices.

When that other kid bullies our kid.

When our co-workers are rude and disrespectful.

This doesn’t make us doormats; it makes us disciples.

Grace gives us permission to let Jesus defend our name.

Grace gives us spiritual eyes to see what may be behind a behavior that hurt our feelings.

Grace holds our tongue where it may hurt, and gives us boldness where it can heal.

It’s undeserved and unmerited. That’s kind of the point.

And this grace Jesus is asking us to give others? It’s not all for nothing, but is surely lacking fullness if we don’t accept it for ourselves. This kindness we extend to those who are struggling around us?

Hey, that’s us, too. The only difference is that we get an actual clear window into the behind the scenes of our own life. I know when my fuse is short and I know why. I know the backstory of my own impatience.

So does God.

God knows what our best looks like. He knows what our worst looks like, too. And He doesn’t even measure us by it. In fact, there’s no measuring at all.

If God holds up a standard, it’s a measuring stick with no end that has already been purchased by His son. When God looks at you, He sees you through a filter. The blood of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross has permanently washed away every stain. As God sees His perfect Son, He sees you. There is no way to measure up and nothing to prove. This is how He’s created us to live.

It’s free. Did you know? It’s already bought and paid for. Whether you accept it or not doesn’t change the fact that it is eternally yours to take.

This isn’t about being easier on yourself or letting yourself off the hook. This is letting God be God and accepting what’s already yours.

So let’s just take it. Let’s accept the grace He’s offering us, okay? And let’s give it away.

Remember this: sin will not conquer you, for God already has!
You are not governed by the law, but governed by the reign of the grace of God
Romans 6:14 TPT

just one thing at a time.

Well, friends. Whether or not it feels happy, it is, in fact, a new year.

I’m not entirely sure what happened toward the end of 2022. I don’t know if it was the culmination of a few years that led to an over-all feeling of exhaustion, or if too much simply happened all at once. But I was ready for 2023 to sneak in very gently and without much fanfare. Maybe you always feel this way. It is abnormal for me. I LOVE New Year’s Eve. I love a whole week of holiday celebrating and I love the idea of everyone in the world celebrating something new collectively.

The more I talk with people and process through my own thoughts, the more it seems everyone is just so tired. There isn’t much motivation to tackle a new year with new goals and fresh vision. We’re kind of just trying to figure out how to recover and manage what we have now.

Wow, this sounds pretty gloomy, huh? It isn’t meant to be. It’s meant to be a reminder that you aren’t the only one, and that it’s okay to take things very slowly.

The best stuff doesn’t happen all at once anyway.

A few days ago I found myself seriously overwhelmed with my growing list of things to do and my lacking energy to tackle any of it. I found myself repeating out loud, “Just one thing at a time.”

I can’t do it all, and I certainly can’t do it all at once. I can’t start a new workout program, declutter and organize the kids’ room, the closet, and my own bedroom all at once. I can’t get serious about meal planning and blogging and reading and being the best wife and mom. I can’t succeed at everything I’ve put on my plate or that’s been asked of me if I do it all at the same time. And neither can you.

This is what happens when we turn our eyes from Jesus and rely on ourselves. Whether we recognize it, whether we name it as this or not, this kind of anxiety and striving comes from reliance on our flesh. Now, hang on. Don’t hear things that I’m not saying. Life can get overwhelming. Sometimes the things that happen to us are painful and unjust. Those things do not mean that you aren’t relying on Jesus.

What I’m saying is that it’s what we do with what happens to us. It’s the anxiety, the overwhelm, the feelings of failure – all the things that don’t come from God.

Anytime I find myself in this place, there is one chapter in scripture that gives me the answers I’m looking for. It’s found in John 15:1-5.

I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and prunes the branches that do bear fruit so that they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.

I mean.

It’s all pretty clear. If we’re working to be successful in any way outside of Jesus, we’re just not going to make it.

The important thing to note in this section of John 15 is that both the good and the bad get cut off. LOL. This made me laugh out loud just now.

The stagnate stuff that is literally just dead weight? It gets cut off.

The good stuff that’s succeeding? Doing great? It gets cut off.

Sure, the Bible uses the word “prune.” Sounds a little nicer, but in reality, it’s exactly the same.

The good and the bad. The fruitful and the dead. They experience the same exact kind of pain.

This is wild to me because the branches don’t know the difference. All they know is that they’re getting cut. The pain feels the same. The cutting back looks similar. Both are meant for growth.

But in the moment, they equally feel pain.

This is the reality of knowing and trusting the Gardener. The only requirement here for growth and production and life is staying close. Those buzzword, churchy Christianese words that still mean as much as their original intent.



We can’t dictate what happens to us in life. But we can decide our location and our proximity to the Father. We can decide where we look, where we stay, and Whom we decide to trust through the pain.

I don’t know about you, but I just don’t want to start off this year distrusting the only One who is truly for me.

Just one thing at a time.

Let’s make one choice. The only one that will actually change your life. The only one that is a lifetime commitment, not a fickle resolution to give up on when it gets hard.

Let our one thing be Jesus.

Choosing to stay. Deciding to remain, and remain close. To hide away in Him. Forgetting about what else you see and who else sees you.

Forget everything else you think you’re supposed to be doing to get it right. Just Jesus.

Don’t neglect everything else you know – like worship, gathering together, praying, fasting – all the good stuff. But without one thing, it’s all meaningless.

Just one thing at at a time.

Just One.

Just Jesus.

grief: the stuff they don’t tell you

Today marks five years that my stepdad went home to be with Jesus.

You know what’s strange about someone passing on a holiday like Thanksgiving? The date was the twenty-third but it was the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, today is the twenty-third, but tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It almost feels like two days of an anniversary. That kind of sucks, by the way. One day feels like it should be enough, right?

Losing an important person in your life is weird. I guess it’s like any other major life event: like getting married or having a baby. There are no words adequate enough to describe what it feels like. But unlike getting married or having a baby, this is the yucky kind of inadequate description. There are psychological terms and many suggestions for how to cope. But there is no way to put actual words to the feeling. They don’t tell you that you’ll feel some kind of intangible ache or hole.

What I’ve learned in five years now about grief that has been the most surprising and the most unnerving is its unpredictability. No anniversary feels the same. Today almost always feels different than yesterday. There is no way to plan, prepare or foresee when the wave will come. This is what makes grief so dang difficult. You can do everything right and still get knocked down.

The uncertainty of how or when it will hit you is part of what leads to the anxiety or heaviness. There’s no way to control it, so it feels so out of grasp.

But what I have also learned in the past five years is the good news that they don’t tell you, either. It’s simple and may not feel like much.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

Psalm 34:18

Brokenhearted. That has to be the most accurate language that could be used to describe grief. It matters to me that the Bible chooses to word this truth in this particular way. We can tend to gloss over it because it sounds nice and makes sense.

We have to take this into account. The truth is that the Lord is always close. He loves us and His Spirit lives in us. But there is something different about the presence of God when our heart is broken. Why? Because it was never intended to be that way. God is love. He is good and kind and merciful and protective. It would go against His nature to not rush in when His kids are broken.

And if you’re reading this and thinking, “God does not feel close to me in my brokenness…“, I want to ask you a question really gently. Have you let Him be close? Are you looking for Him or even aware of Him at all?

God is always looking to draw us closer to Himself through His Spirit. Our feelings lie to us when they convince us He is not there. When we’re down deep in the dark, it almost always feels like we are there alone. I promise you, you are not alone.

This is it. This is what I’ve come to tell you in case no one else has.

Grief and hope can coexist.

In the darkness of loss, pain is all you can see. The goodness of God feels like a joke and certainly not a reality. But as grief comes in unpredictable waves, hope is one hundred percent predictable. Why? Our God is the God of hope [Romans 15:13]. Hope is expectation and trust in what will come or what else could be, and God has already told us the end of the story.

What is the end of the story? It’s this:

“God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21:3-4

This is our inheritance and our future. The dark will not last long.

I can hold onto hope without dismissing my reality.

So this week, I have held grief pretty close. I have sat and watched videos of Pop and remembered just how much I have missed his laugh.

I have felt really sad that he hasn’t been there to watch my kids grow up and become such incredible and hilarious little people. I have pictured how proud he would be of me and Tyler and all that we have done and become in his absence. I have allowed myself to be really bummed out that this is still my family’s reality. There is just nothing good about cancer, y’all.

I hold all of that in my hands, and in my heart I hold the truth that the Lord has been close in my brokenness. He has been near, and He has made me more whole as I have trusted Him to truly be God.

I have friends today who just lost their mom last week. I have friends who are experiencing their first holiday without their loved one. And others who have been walking this road a very long time and know that the absence of their loved ones is always felt.

If you find yourself grieving in any way this week, I pray today that you would accept the grace given to you by God. Grace to be human. Grace to fall apart without shame. Grace to question and doubt and maybe even hide for a time.

And I pray that this same grace would draw you near to the God of hope. To accept this grace that pulls you up and shines light on all the places that were dark.

It is by grace you have been saved. It is by grace that you will make it through. Second after second and year after year.

May you dare to hope.

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness, His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!”

Lamentations 3:20-22

When God’s “good” feels pretty bad

It’s officially fall, y’all. You will never be able to convince me that there is a better season than the months we are in right now. I could never move somewhere like Florida or Hawaii where the heat never gives way in and cooler winds blow in. Daily, I am blown away by the colors of the trees. As I drive down the road, my sentences to friends on the phone are interrupted by my awe of the brilliance and variety of the leaves in front of me. There is a strip of trees near my house, and every single tree is a vibrant, different color than the one next to it. I love it. This photo below is the tree I see when I walk outside my front door.

I love layers and fall flavors and how the sun transforms in the evening. Could I make an entire blog post about this? Yes, I could. But I won’t do that to you. I’m here to remind you of something more important than my favorite season.

These beautiful trees that transform into actual art before our eyes?

Their leaves are DYING.

In my entire lifetime, I will never stop being amazed at this dichotomy.

When the leaves look the most alive; the most glamorous, they are on their way to their end. After serving their purpose for their particular season, they fall to the ground and eventually get swept up into the garbage or decay until the snow comes to freeze them over.

I’ve learned that maybe there are themes that God has given each of us to carry throughout our life to display different pieces of His character. I can’t seem to get away from this same concept over and over. Hey, I even wrote a book about it last year. His Kingdom is backwards.

God’s Word tells us that He works for our good:

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

But we have to be real. So much of what we are facing does not look good. It doesn’t feel good.

Seasons of waiting without any direction.
Feeling forgotten.
For friends of mine right now, cancer – again.
Pain, sickness, addiction, miscarriage, loneliness –

Real life stuff. None of that feels good at all.

In fact, it feels really bad. And we wonder how God can promise good for us when life just isn’t good.


Who says what is good?

Who defines what goodness looks like?

In Exodus 33, Moses asks to see God’s glory. And God responds with this in verse 19: “I will make all my goodness pass before you…

His presence is His goodness.
He is goodness.
He is good.

I have been following a worship leader on Instagram as his wife has suffered with cancer. She went to be with Jesus this week. Through their entire journey, they have called God good and faithful. The day after she passed, he posted a video through tears, reminding me what I learned five years ago that pushed me to write a book.

Our biggest fear – death – is the truest life. Real healing, real joy, the purest forms of anything good we’re looking for will never be made full as long as we’re on this earth.

God’s ways are higher and His thoughts are greater.
God has never and never will delight in our suffering. But what He sees as good is far beyond our shallow, earthly definition.

We may never had said the words out loud, but we’ve defined good as success, comfort, stability, and beauty.
What if we let the Author of the word define it for us?

Do you know the first thing that God called “good” in the Bible?

His creation.

The water, the land, the animals, and the man that he made in His image.


Is our definition of good lined up with the Creator’s?

What does this all mean?

It doesn’t mean that we ignore what’s hard. It doesn’t mean that we push through and pretend we aren’t in pain.

But let’s take a lesson from the autumn trees; maybe all that we see isn’t all that there is.

Maybe what seems the most beautiful and lovely may be fleeting and only last for a season.

The only truly thing that is good is your God Himself. So ask Him “why?“, and spare no expense when it comes to your honesty with Him. It’s the only way real relationship is built.

But don’t let your “why’s” and your “bad” trick you into believing the lie that He isn’t good.

Just like those brilliant leaves won’t last, neither will your present suffering.

Don’t lose sight of the Good – your God.

“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them all and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

the tug of war of waiting on God

photo by @theian20

It’s summertime, friends. My kids have one more week of school.

Hopefully, this means some trips. Which means time in the car. Which, in my car, means whining.

My beautiful daughter really is a pro. It’s astounding. No matter where we are going, she asks how many minutes. Anything more than ten minutes is astronomical to her, and it’s all equal. Thirty minutes? Might as well be seven hours.

It’s just a whole lot of waiting.

Let’s be honest, though. We aren’t much better at waiting as grown ups, are we?

I think I am convinced.

I am convinced that waiting is what makes us the most confused, weary and frustrated.

Grief hurts. But so much of the pain comes from wondering when it will ever end.

Rejection stings. With no end in sight, though, we feel hopeless.

Waiting asks the question: “When?”

When will the pain stop? When will someone finally notice? When will I actually be loved for who I am?

Waiting does more than fray our patience. Depending on our perspective, it can pull us away from God when we bring Him our hopes and our hurts, and wonder when He may answer. It feels very complicated, but is truthfully simple. We have two choices in how we wait, no matter what the circumstances are.

We either trust God or we don’t.

I’m sorry to be so blunt. Just about everything boils down to this truth.

Whether or not we trust changes the journey forward. If we wait in distrust, questioning God’s character and trustworthiness, it does nothing but slow our growth and stunt our maturity. Our attitude does not change who God is. Have you noticed? In the brief, fleeting moments when we finally feel like we’ve arrived somewhere; when we’ve received the answer, we don’t need God so much. We aren’t desperate for His voice or His presence. And just like my sweet Olivia Grace, pitching a fit in the waiting can’t physically altar the time.

How we wait changes everything.

But the truth is that we aren’t the only ones waiting when we call on God. Think about it. God is exerting great and perfect patience when He doesn’t give us what we want immediately after we ask. This is the common example, but it always works. Kids want candy and ice cream for breakfast. (I mean, don’t we all?) I am a firm believer that there are moments when we should all throw off the routine and indulge on infrequent occasions. But while straight sugar may feel fun in the moment, over time, it will take a toll on our bodies. It doesn’t actually serve us.

The things that God has planned for us in the in-between are unparalleled. There isn’t language deep enough to hold the magnitude of His vision for us in the in-between. The process is His favorite part. The talking, the vulnerability, the molding.

I’m currently in a season that I don’t know what to label besides a waiting period. It’s a little in-between. I am unsure of exactly what’s next. While I wait, I play tug of war with my patience in God’s perfect timing and plan. Like whatever is for me next is on the other side of the center line and I’m being pulled back and forth from surrender and trust. Through the years, I have learned that playing tug-of-war this way only hurts me. It also hurts Him.

God is not focused on giving us what we think we want and when. If He were, He would not be truly good. If He were, He would be fickle and a little untrustworthy.

No, our God is Sovereign.
Perfect and kind.
He is King and He is Dad.

We’ve all been tempted to run ahead of Him. We’ve picked up the tug-of-war rope, so heavy in our hands. The thing about tug-of-war is that we’re often tricked into thinking that we’re winning; that the odds are in our favor. It looks like our flag is going to cross that center line, and then suddenly it’s jerked out of our hands.

And if you thought that God was on the other side of the rope, you’re wrong. He isn’t holding the rope at all. He’s next to you, always.

He’s offering another way.
It isn’t easy, but it is good.
It may not be absent of pain, but it it is full of glory.

The prize isn’t waiting at the end, when you receive your answer.
The prize isn’t the end goal.

The prize is standing next to you.
It’s Jesus.

anxiety that surpasses understanding

I feel like kids get a bad rap. Young children are known for asking “why?” It’s real, though. There is an episode of my daughter’s favorite show, “Bluey”, where the main character asks her parents “why?” over and over. Her parents follow the trail, and give her an answer for each “why?” and it is never-ending. My daughter thinks this is how all of our conversations should be, and she thinks it’s hilarious. I do not. I have to remind her often that Bluey is a cartoon and our life is real life and I am not as patient as Bluey’s mom is!

To be fair to kids, though, the truth is that we never stop asking why. Whether we actually use the word out loud or (more often than not) roll it around repeatedly in our heads, we want to understand. We think that if we can get to the bottom of why something is happening, maybe we’ll feel better about it.

If you are new here, I was made aware that I had been struggling with anxiety four years ago. It had been there for much longer, I just wasn’t able to put a name to it. And I ran from it. Because I didn’t like who it turned me into. Who I became. How it twisted my view of Jesus. So instead of facing it, I turned and ran. And we all know how that goes.

With the healing hand of Jesus and the gift of a wonderful therapist, I have been healed from anxiety. It is a story too long for a blog post. Until that point, though, I had become complacent and content; kind of always believing that anxiety would just be a forever part of my life. I enjoyed connecting with others, still being in process. Oh, I’m still in process. But Jesus made it clear to me that He was ready to close that chapter for me. And I have chosen to believe Him.

Jesus is so unpredictable when it comes to healing. We never know how or when. We believe that because of His blood, our freedom and our healing was purchased once and for all. But we continue to walk through such turmoil here on earth. Some of it we bring upon ourselves, if we’re honest. Some if it has nothing to do with us. It’s just life.

There are so many verses in the Bible about anxiety. Releasing fear. Trusting God.

There’s one in particular that seems a little more well-known. It’s the verse that plagued me, actually. I prayed it. I believed it. And I didn’t understand why I was still so anxious. I’m sure you’ve heard it.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

We pray for this and we talk about it a lot. Peace that transcends human understanding.

You know what we don’t talk about?

Anxiety also goes beyond our understanding.

We know that anxiety is not of God. Fear is not from Him.

The reason why anxiety is so infuriating is that for most of us, it doesn’t make sense. Sure, we can probably track the origin of our attacks back to a moment or a fear. But the racing thoughts, the shaky hands, the ridiculous irritability or seeming lack of breath – it somehow goes beyond rational thought. If we could make sense of it, maybe it wouldn’t be happening.

Anxiety is the enemy’s counterfeit to God’s peace.

Anxiety is beyond rationality.
It traps us with no concrete reasons.
Anxiety screams: SOMETHING IS WRONG! When in reality, nothing may be wrong at all.

In a similar way, Peace can’t be explained away. It doesn’t solve all of our problems, but it brings us to the Person of Jesus who is our Savior and Redeemer.

The crippling feeling of anxiety also can’t be explained. Sure, psychologists have given it language and symptoms to track. But when you are in that moment of panic or that unrelenting out-of-control feeling, explanations don’t mean anything to settle our hearts.

Satan is the father of lies. He births them. He crafts them. When you boil it all down, what makes you anxious?

God created me to be very empathetic. I feel others’ emotions. Their pain, their happiness… I’ve been gifted with some discernment and insights to things that aren’t always obvious. These are gifts that my God crafted for me as He knitted me together.

And for every gift in my personality from God, the enemy of the world finds a way to create a counterfeit. He imitates the best parts of me and twists them for darkness. He says, “Oh, you have empathy for others? Take on their burdens until it drowns you. Find a way to fix everything around you so that everyone turns to you as their savior instead of Jesus. Hide out in shame because of the weight that’s on you that no one will ever know about. Oh, you feel like you can’t breathe? Good. You can’t worship without breath.”

It is not an accident that both peace and anxiety go beyond rationality or human understanding. They both settle deep within; in our hearts and our bodies, beyond logic. There is one difference.

One is of God. One is not.

One benefits you. The other does not.

Although they are both very real, only one leads to Truth.

What may be very real in your life isn’t necessarily the Truth. Truth is a Person, not an intangible idea.

Listen. If I read this blog even a year ago, it would make me angry. I was working hard on accepting anxiety as a part of what I was working through and processing through very real and practical ways to manage it. And it was so necessary. I let Jesus into that process, and found more freedom than I had known in my life.

So if you are struggling with anxiety in any way and you have not yet allowed a professional to help walk you through ways to find freedom, now is your time. Don’t wait any longer. Don’t wait until you feel too far and you don’t have a choice anymore. Seek help now.

But whether you have received help or not, there is more with Jesus. Have you succumbed to the idea that you will simply walk through life experiencing anxiety that transcends understanding? It is the exact cheap imitation of true Peace. The Peace that exceeds our understanding. It may not make sense, but it’s true.

The truth is that a blog post does not solve your heartache, your panic attacks, your unsettled spirit.

Believe it or not, God is not afraid of your “why?”. He is patient, and willing to listen to every question, no matter how many times you’ve asked. However, He doesn’t always answer our why questions, does he? How many times have we asked God “why?” without ever really getting an answer? But I can tell you what He will answer every single time.


We may need to give up our desire to understand to truly find the freedom we’re looking for. Our God is our Guide, our Counselor, and our Father. He waits on the edge of His seat to lead you into paths of His righteousness. If you ask, He will not withhold ways to find freedom.

And He will always, always point you to a Who.

He is the answer. We aren’t saved by our understanding. We are saved by a Person.

“You draw near to those who call out to you,
listening closely, especially when their hearts are true.
Every godly one receives even more than they ask for.
For you hear what their hearts really long for,
and you bring them your saving strength.”
Psalm 145:18-19 TPT

the internet isn’t real life [what you may need to know for Mother’s Day]

I have the silliest confession.

I have to delete Tik Tok very often because I have zero self control. Those people knew what they were doing when they wanted to grab you and keep you.

Okay, but that’s not even the confession.

There was this trend going around for a little while with this particular sound. It was literally a few beautiful little chords on a piano and Ben Rector singing these words, “I don’t know who needs to hear this but, the internet isn’t real life.” Go look it up. It’s a seriously beautiful melody. The best part, though, is that the backdrop to this song was thousands of videos of women showing a perfectly put-together part of their house. But right at the end, the shot would pan to reality. Piles of laundry, toys, dirty dishes, real life.

Oh, wait. The confession. Guys. I first began this blog by telling you go find this song and listen to it. I searched for this song EVERYWHERE. Do you know what? I finally learned it wasn’t even a song. It was a Tik Tok sound of Ben Rector at his piano singing one line. It should be a song. It’s beautiful. I was so disappointed. I need it to be a full song.

Truthfully, though, I watched these videos for a very long time. I sat and I let the auto populated algorithm scroll me through video after video of (mostly) women showing the behind the scenes of what we see on social media. And I cried. I kind of shocked myself, to be honest. I know very full well that the internet isn’t real life. I know in my thinking brain that no one’s life is perfect. And yet, somehow, seeing it in front of me set to a beautiful melody, I was reminded that I didn’t believe it all the time.

I know the Truth. I know that there is no perfect mother. There is no perfect wife or daughter or friend. I know that all of us can put on a really beautiful face for the world to see. And somehow, I still needed a reminder.

So here I am, reminding you that the internet isn’t real life. And my guess is that your head tells you, “Yes. I know this.” But tell the truth. Have you felt left out, less than, not good enough, or any other negative emotion after staring at someone else’s life on a screen?

Mother’s Day is this weekend. And every single year, the weight of what these kind of days hold seems to get a little heavier.

Whether you are a daughter, a niece, a grandmother, or a mother yourself, more often than not, there is hurt or disappointment associated.

Much of that hurt probably wasn’t your fault. Maybe you feel a void in your life from the women who haven’t been there for you the way you had hoped. But I know the truth about how I have felt, and how so many others around me have felt.

Days like Mother’s Day are supposed to feel celebratory, and they often bring about feelings of insufficiency.

So many of our days as mothers are full of comparison and inadequacy.

We need to fight against this. We really do. I’ve said it before, comparison isn’t just the thief of joy; it steals everything from us.

Comparison steals our confidence.

It holds hostage our contentment. It butts heads with gratitude. It traps our focus.

It covers up the truth of God’s goodness and faithfulness to us, and shoves in our face that He’s been better to someone else.

Comparison lies.

This is bigger than the internet. We use social media as our enemy, and it’s really not. But it is a tool that the enemy is using.

So what do we do?

We begin with self-awareness. Sure, I may “know” the internet isn’t real life. I may cognitively understand that everyone’s life isn’t more put together than mine. But in the deep parts of my heart and my thoughts, what do I believe?
What do I believe about God?

What do I believe about what He believes about me?

If your answer is, “I don’t think I know”, then I’ll tell you.

The photo above is in my kitchen. A day where I looked around and realized my house was such a disaster, I was so overwhelmed. I took a picture, because we all need to see some reality. Do me a favor, though. Scroll back up. Do you see the light spilling through the windows? Don’t miss the beauty in all of the mess.

God is the source of all of our life; all of our light.

This weekend, instead of focusing on all that you may lack, fix your eyes to all that is yours in heaven.

Grab hold of one of these truths today:

You are a co-heir with Christ. Everything that is His is also yours. [Galatians 4:6-7]

You have absolutely everything you need to live the life God has called you to. God holds nothing back from you. [2 Peter 1:3]

You were not created to be self-sufficient. Your weakness is purposeful. [2 Corinthians 12:9]

You are not loved for what you do. You are loved for who you are. [Romans 8:35]

You cannot earn God’s love for you. [Ephesians 2:8-9]

“Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
He is mine forever.”
Psalm 73:25-26

the obscure Easter story: before the cross

A tree in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed before the crucifixion. iStock photo, courtesy of tkachuk.

Do you ever get so behind on something you were excited about?

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have a slight obsession with anything that author Alicia Britt Chole puts out. Every single word that is posted on her page is worth sharing, reflecting, and internalizing. Several people have joined me on her 40 day Lent journey, 40 Days of Decrease. This is my second year reading through it, and I could not wait.

Enter springtime after two years of COVID. We have had sickness in our house for three weeks straight. Both of my kids were finally back in school a few days ago. Anyway, there are 40 days in Lent. Easter is less than a week away. I am absolutely stuck on day 28. I’ll let you do the math, because I’m certainly not going to.

Let me tell you what, though. Every once in a while I find a topic that reinforces to me why I felt passionate enough to write a book on how God’s ways are so backwards. And day 28 did that here for me.

We get pretty caught up in Easter, don’t we? Eggs and chocolate and springtime and baskets. I have nothing against those. But if we put ourselves in the context of the history, and not just the idea of an event, we see the truth of Jesus’ character. We see ridiculous acts of obedience that look so upside down to us. We see the darkness that truly led up to the darkest moment.

Here is Chole’s synopsis of one small, but crucial moment in the dark garden:

“John’s account of what happened after Judas’ kiss is stunning. Jesus asked the crowd who they were looking for and they replied, “Jesus of Nazareth.” When Jesus responded, “I am He,” John documents that “they drew back and fell to the ground” (John 18:6). When they recovered, Jesus repeated the question and they replied with the same answer (though perhaps with a bit more hesitancy in their voices). This time, the One whose “I am He” had leveled a mob used His voice to shield His suddenly awake disciples: “if you are looking for me, then let these men go” (John 18:8).

Peter had no intentions of being “let go” at all, let alone without a fight. Drawing a sword, he whacked off the high priest’s servant’s ear. Then Jesus healed Malachus (the man who had come to arrest Him) and rebuked Peter (the man who had risked defending Him).”

We tend to compartmentalize the pieces of Jesus, don’t we? And maybe we even dehumanize Him a little bit – like He wasn’t fully man being completely torn apart without cause.

Here’s my takeaway today: Jesus was obedient every step of the way. Not just the direction of the cross, not just the end result. He was committed to obedience in every unfair scenario that led Him to His purpose. Throughout His whole life He was obedient, but from the last supper, through His arrest and unlawful trial and everything horrendous that followed – He submitted fully to the will of His Father.

I’ve been wondering lately if we have this kind of consistent obedience. I mean, I can answer for myself and the answer is for sure not. In my heart, I feel committed to obedience and following where God wants me to go. But in my mind and my actions, am I obedient every step of the way?

In becoming the person we believe God has created us to be, do we hold grudges against those who have offended us?

As we’re headed to what we think is our destiny, do we step on other people to get there, unconcerned with what happens to them as long as we move forward?

Are we focused on creating the best outward version of ourselves, unaware of our integrity and character that God is longing to develop?

Jesus was one hundred percent committed to the process of His destiny, even if it looked like He helped His enemies and turned away from His closest friends.

Now, none of us are Jesus. Our destiny is not going to be redeeming the whole of mankind. But God promises that He does have futures for us that will bring Him glory.

Are we committed to the process that it takes to get there? God is not concerned with our end result. If He were, He wouldn’t have taught on or allowed us to wait. If He was focused solely on what we did for Him, we would surely get wherever we were going much faster. True integrity and obedience grow on our way to where we think we’re going.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1 Peter 1:6-7).

Are you feeling frustrated or impatient today? Do you see your promise in front of you, and you feel stuck in quicksand, maybe taking one step forward and what feels like ten steps back?

Don’t forget: the cross was the epitome of God’s backwards kingdom. The worst moment in history doubles as our best case scenario: salvation. And yet, Jesus lived out over thirty years in momentary obedience for the sake of God’s glory and our eternal freedom.

As we lead into Resurrection Sunday, take time to reflect on on the kind of process Jesus endured for those around Him and for you. Ask God to search your heart and reveal to you where you may be attempting to skip His process and miss out on what He has for you right here and now.