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Don't Lose You

When Jackson was a baby, I would hop into my car on my lunch break and rush to his day care to see him. I had thirty minutes with my baby and I needed every last second. I was a mess of a new mom and had a really hard time leaving him everyday. I was caught in the conundrum of loving teaching with all that I was and loving being a mom desperately wanting to stay home.

I established a neat relationship with Jack's care-takers. They were a little older than me and much wiser. They will never fully know how appreciative I am for their advice and comfort during those beginning moments as a mama. When I decided to leave my teaching career and move halfway across the country to do so, they gave me a piece of advice that I didn't take seriously initially but now hold dear. They told me I had to find something for me. They watched me finish my master's that year and knew I was the type that needed to be doing. They recognized that I was about to enter a season where I had to hold…
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The Promise Land

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."Jeremiah 29:11

We Christians like this verse; like A LOT. We have it written all over the place. We hang this verse up in our home and tattoo it to our bodies. Jeremiah 29:11 is everyone's life verse. I mean, who doesn't want to rest in knowing the God has a plan for our life; especially when that plan includes safety and prosperity. Even if I didn't believe in God, I would hold onto this verse. What if, however, we have been misinterpreting this verse all these years?

This life, the here and the now, we like it. Well, some of us probably want to throw this life in the trash like a rough draft and have a do-over. But, for the most part, we hold onto this life for dear life. It is all we know. It can be scary to think of anything else. Because of this, we go all in even when the cards we are dealt are bad.

This life …

Cultural Christianity

I think there is one thing we can all agree on politically: the United States has been nothing short of wonky in the political arena in the last few years. We have fallen off our rocker. Am I right? Don't worry. This is not a political post. However, it may get some a little riled up, but that's okay.

What if I told you that our shift away from cultural Christianity is a good thing? I think I just heard everyone gasp in harmony. In all seriousness, what if a shift away from Christianity being the cultural norm is not a bad thing?

The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and aweHebrews 12:27-28

God tells us that he is going to do a little shaking. He does some shaking in our lives. He is sifting out the unnecessary stuff, the stuff that keeps us from him, and l…

You Have What It Takes

You ARE valued.
You ARE valuable.
You ARE worthy.
You ARE highly favored.
You ARE loved.
We need YOU.


My youngest was taking a bath in my bath tub while I was getting ready for bed. We were chit-chatting about things when he noticed a 3x5 card on my mirror.

W: Why do you have that sign on your mirror, Mommy?
Me: I need it. It's a good reminder for me.
W: Why do you need a reminder that "You have what it takes"?
M: Because everyone needs that reminder every now and then.

We ALL need a reminder that we add value to this world. We need to be told that we matter. Most of us, including myself, struggle with worth from time-to-time; sometimes all the time. We want to matter. We want to have a positive impact on this world. But, far too often, we instead feel alone, unqualified, and marginalized. We feel like someone else is doing it so no one needs us. We believe the lie that our voice adds nothing. We forget that we are valuable.

You are valuable because you exist. Not because…

Notoriety

Teenage Mother
A donkey owner
Simon of Cyrene

Who are these people? I am sure you can figure out the first one: Mary the mother of Jesus. Who are the others and what do all three of these people have in common? They all did extraordinary things but, for the most part, went unseen.

Do you ever feel unseen? Undervalued? I do. I try not to get caught up in that space, but I find myself there too often. While Mary is infamous today, she wasn't when she brought the King into this world. She was a teenager who gave birth in a barn. She was an outcast who was pregnant but not married. She told of an unbelievable story involving an angel, a Spirit, and a Savior who was going to save the world. Could you even imagine? It's easy for us to be in awe of Mary. We know the whole story. She didn't. And neither did the people around her. She had to live it. To top it all off, she had to watch her beloved son die a gruesome death. Talk about feeling unseen and undervalued. She faithfully …

The You Gospel

You are worthy.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
You are destined for greatness.
You were made with a purpose and for a plan.
You are beautiful.
You are highly favored.

You.

You.

You.

We like compliments. We enjoy when people tell us how great we are. We check our social media to see how many "likes" our pictures receive. We like to go to church and leave feeling encouraged and good about ourselves, don't we? We are a pretty me-focused society. From toddler-hood on, we are a pretty selfish bunch. We like things to go our way, in our timing, with our plans. Tell us how fantastic we are, and our day is made.

When we take a look at the Gospel, at the life of Jesus, we see quite the opposite. No longer is the message me-centered. Instead, it is others-focused.

"Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Mandid not come to be served, but to serve, a…

The Upside Down

Stranger Things is a cultural phenomenon. If you haven't watched it, you have at least heard of the show. An awesome nod to the eighties with some creepy sci-fi thrown into the mix. You watch one episode and suddenly you are hooked wanting to know more about Eleven, Will, Barbara, Demagorgons, and the eerie upside down.

Stranger Things consists of the real world and the upside down. The real world is the every day stuff you and I are used to. The upside down is our world, only dark, mysterious, and full of these nasty flower-head creatures. The upside down is unexplainable and hard to believe. If you haven't experienced the upside down, one can deny it even exists. When you finally do experience this other world, however, it leaves a hefty mark on you. You want to get as far away from the upside down as you can trying desperately to get back to normal, but something keeps pulling you back.

Jesus lived in the upside down and he's calling you and I to live there, too. Not t…