Monthly Archives: September 2015

Your God has not deserted you…



I was one of those dorky kids who loved school, especially in my elementary years. But I think field trip days were by far the best. I can remember touring Heiner’s Bakery in Huntington when I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 years old, and the warm piece of fresh bread with melted butter, along with a Donald Duck pencil as a souvenir.

Another time I remember going to Carter Caves for the day, touring caves and nature-walking. If I think hard enough, I can still smell the whiff of cedar from the jewelry box I purchased as a memento.

And other trips to the Pumpkin Festival, Safety Town, and Camden Park. The best!

But not every day can be a field trip day. There are some things that simply have to be learned through reading or repetitious writing. There are things we must go over a hundred times, paragraphs that have to be memorized, and quizzes that need to be taken.

Those days seem pretty blah at best, and nearly painful at other times.

But sometimes it takes crummy and difficult stuff to learn the hard lessons.

I have been there – both in learning from my textbook and in learning to trust in my God.

Our lives are always going to be a mixed bag of the best and the worst and lots of in-between. We get the great days – the weddings, the births of bouncing babies, the promotions and pay raises. But we also get the bad times – the sicknesses, the layoffs, the misunderstandings.

But our God never changes. God is good, all the time. Period. And he never leaves us – it‘s true. Our circumstances are not indicators of whether or not God is with us. Sometimes He chooses not to keep us out of the scary parts, but to simply hold our hands through them.

In the Bible, Ezra reminds us that God doesn’t leave. The Israelites had been kicked out of their promised land, after turning from God, and many were relocated to Babylon for 70 years – a land of people who didn‘t worship or even know their God. A new guy takes over, and he permits a group of them to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Just a few short months back home, and the Israelite men began marrying women who worshiped other gods.

Ezra heard about it and was devastated. He prayed, repenting for his people. He prayed and confessed and wept – and thanked God for not giving up on them already. In Ezra chapter 9, verse 9, he said this:

“Though we are slaves, our God has not deserted us in our bondage.”burlap

Ezra knew that even though their circumstances were not great (definitely not a field-trip day) – He knew God was with them.

If you are facing a situation that seems less than ideal, please know your God has not deserted you. He will bring good from whatever it is you are going through. There are lessons to be learned. Even if it is something you caused yourself, you can be sure that God can redeem it. He is so good at that.

So don’t give up. We are not promised easy paths, but we are promised that we won’t walk them alone.

Let me know how I can pray with you ❤

Doggie Doors and Gentle Nudges

  image1   In an effort to allow him the freedom to go in and out as he chooses during the day, we put up a doggie-door that we had from our brief stint with Buddy the Shih Tzu. We showed Meatball how it worked, doing everything short of trying to squeeze through there ourselves. He would have none of it, unless we held it open for him, giving him ample time to decide if it was worth the effort.
     He has made progress, but still needs us to give him a nudge to make it out the door. As he stands near the rubbery flap, he refuses to go until we have gently pushed him forward and through it.
     While it seems so silly, we play along, and continue hoping that eventually he will see how easily he can do this on his own. But until then, we will keep on nudging.
     Turns out, I’m a lot like Meatball…. Click here to read the rest of the post 🙂

Dear 8th grade girls…


Dear 8th grade girls,

I’m sorry it is so confusing. Messages are being sent from all directions – some screaming, some in whispers – and they are so very different.

People you love and trust are telling you to be yourself, that you can do anything you set your mind to. We tell you how valuable you are.

We tell you these things with our words, but our actions speak a different story.

When someone you admire and respect – your teacher, your principal, your parent – entertains you as a reward with music that screams an entirely different message, there must be part of you that feels the poster-worthy encouragement start to cheapen and lose it’s meaning.

You deserve respect, we say.

When a guy you like has a girlfriend, tell him you will give him your body for the evening if his girlfriend is getting naggy, we let Missy Elliott say to you at your 8th grade dance.

Sex is a beautiful gift you and your husband can one day share, we say.

Your body is simply for the pleasure of men, and you are lucky to have someone like me want you for a few minutes in a bathroom stall, we let “Sage the Gemini” blare to you at a school reward party.

The right man will love you like Christ loves the church, we preach to them.

Your body should be given to a man who wants to bring you pain for his own pleasure- after all, he is good-looking and powerful, we let you hear as your mom gushes over 50 Shades of Grey and plans a girls-night-out to see the movie.

You are beautiful just the way you are, we say.

Mostly-naked, Photoshopped women holding their bikinis is really what is beautiful, your dad is saying as he keeps the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

I’m sorry. Our messages are conflicting, inconsistent. And most are lies.

The truth is – you do deserve respect. You are beautiful, and my prayer is that one day you will find a Psalm-139-13-14-web-300x221man who will try so hard to love you like Christ loves the church, and who can physically respect your body and respect the gift of sex like God intended it. My prayer is that my son will be that kind of man.

I want you to know that so many other things matter more than your physical appearance. Your character, your compassion, your kindness, your humor, your ability to find joy. Those are things that carry so much more weight than “being hot.”

Don’t settle. Please don’t change who you are because you hear that it’s what a guy wants. And please forgive me if you have heard it from me.


The adults who want to do better