Thanks in Action

It’s Thanksgiving season again. The time to reflect on our lives, gather with family and consider our history as a country that was birthed by the drive to live in a new world where freedom and liberty set the foundation for society. As Christians, many of us take time during Thanksgiving to refocus and prepare our hearts for the impending celebration of our Savior’s birth. We will reflect on blessings and hardships, explore areas of Christ’s intervention or answered prayers over the year, and we will look intently and intentionally at what we have. There will be many Facebook posts, …

Restored and Redeemed: A Marriage Story

Wedding rings

We all have a story to tell. I would like to think that mine is not much different than yours, but I know that it probably is. As I think about celebrating 41 years of marriage, I know there was a time that the word “celebration” would not have been a part of my vocabulary in speaking about my life with my sweet, precious, ever patient husband. God knew when I married this man that my relationship with him would be filled with so many ups and downs, so many trials, but also so many joys….and He knew that this …

Pure Joy

Stress. That would be the single word that best describes the last few years of my life. So much so that when we rounded the corner into 2014, I began to pray, “Lord, will You please grant me a season of rest?” I was so weary that it didn’t seem like a selfish thing to ask for. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to keep going without some time to re-energize. Maybe I just wasn’t specific enough in my request… ‘cuz I was kind of thinking about several months, maybe even a whole year of rest! And initially, it …

God Isn’t Done with Me Yet

To pick one moment and say, “that, that right there was when God wrecked me,” is hard to pinpoint. It wasn’t the moment our 6 month old daughter was diagnosed with cancer, it wasn’t the moment my husband deployed, or the moments I thought he would never return. It was a gradual build up, a gutting of everything I held dear before the final sweep of the wrecking ball knocked through my walls. Our first child was born during the week before finals of my second to last semester of grad school. I was on track for the life I’d …

Wilting

“I’m wilting.”Two words I recently told a friend.  They were out of my mouth before I even had a chance to realize what I was saying.  But after the words were out, I couldn’t quit thinking about the state I was in. I was wilting. Wilting: to become limp through heat, loss of water, or disease; to droop Yes, I was wilting…I was becoming limp through heat– certain trials I was up against had proved to be very hot; through loss of water– I was looking inward to myself rather than looking at Jesus, the very source of Living Water; …

His Faithfulness Remains

I have had the unfortunate opportunity to endure not one, but two, exceptionally difficult ministry experiences. The first one involved me directly while I was working on a small ministry team at a large church. The details aren’t important, but it devastated me at the time. It didn’t change my view of who God was, but it was disheartening to see a ministry leader behave in very ungodly ways that were destructive to me and many others. Eventually I healed, but I didn’t realize that first event was preparing me for things to come. The next ministry falling out also …

The Lessons Were Hard

Deep under the covers, I rang in 2015 with my head fast asleep on my pillow by 8:30 p.m. Not exactly the life of the party. Six months after being diagnosed with a debilitating neuromuscular disease I was struggling with something nearly as incurable… unforgiveness. With my diagnosis of myasthenia gravis came an unprovoked betrayal from my own profession, my doctor. In twenty years of practicing medicine I never had a sick day. I returned to work the day after having surgery, not once but twice. Once I even performed surgery at 8 in the morning, changed into a gown and …

His Way is Better

My life is not at all what I thought it would be, and nowhere close to what I “hoped” it would be when I was growing up. I don’t say that regretfully. The Lord has shown me so many times that my thoughts are not His thoughts and His ways are not my ways. Praise the Lord for that! Sometimes in life, we end up being most grateful for the things in life that at that time we hated the most. I look back over my life and see fingerprints of God all over it. Places I lived, people I …

Love Lifted Me

“I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, When God grabbed and held me. God’s my strength, he’s also my song, And now he’s my salvation. Hear the shouts, hear the triumph songs in the camp of the saved? “The hand of God has turned the tide! The hand of God is raised in victory! The hand of God has turned the tide! I didn’t die. I lived! And now I’m telling the world what God did. God tested me, he pushed me hard But he didn’t hand me over to Death. Swing wide the city gates-the righteous gates! …

Becoming a Slave and Gaining Freedom

Freedom is, by definition, the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Slavery is, by definition, a relationship where one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty and fortune. As a teenager I had been engulfed in a life of sin. I was captivated by its lure and enticed by its stronghold. I was a slave to sin, until freedom pursued me and I began to allow God to draw me to Him. As I entered adulthood, I aspired to be happy. I longed for all the normal …

We Were Made for More

“We aren’t made to live on mountain tops” are the words I heard uttered from a friend not too long ago. When I first let these words penetrate my thought closet, I was in a place where I so desperately wanted this to not be true. I knew the feelings I had on the top of that mountain. I felt so close to God. I felt clothed with His Spirit…I felt worthy and wildly obedient. At this point in my life, I had spent what seemed like years climbing through thick brush (my life’s storms and trials) to get there. …

Wrecked

My tires were aired, my chain was lubed and the panniers were bulging. Packing was definitely the biggest challenge. Four women preparing for a five day, two hundred fifty-seven mile bicycle ride across the state of Missouri were limited to mascara, toothbrush, T-shirt dress and Chacos. I’ll admit I was a little worried. I had never been to the Katy Trail, though I had researched it extensively and compiled a detailed agenda, which included bed and breakfast reservations as well as dinner plans. I had spent four months meticulously planning the trip. To conserve space I placed my items into …