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Have you ever felt unheard by God?

You ate it!?!

Feet stomped up the stairs, a door slammed, and muffled cries came from my daughter's bedroom. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, my husband was making dinner and wiping crumbs from his face, cupcake crumbs. Crumbs from the last cupcake that had belonged to my youngest daughter - the one crying upstairs.

Yesterday, he had told her she could have it, then today he ate it.

She didn’t understand. 

I knew her pain. I distinctly remember there was a 24-hour rule when I was growing up if we had sweets in the house and it was laying around we had 24 hours to eat it or it was free game and any dibs on it or sharpie written names expired. This rule, however, had not been established in my house. 

Tracing her steps I gently knocked on the door, "it’s Mom can I come in". She mumbled something. Her head was buried under the pillow and she peeked out at me. Her tear-streaked face was puffy and her lips were pouty. 

“I’m sorry Dad...

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Good in grief? How is that even possible? How can that happen for me? 

 

We’ve all lost something or someone dear to us and when we experience loss we grieve. Time will heal our hurting hearts and while some may get stuck, many of us will get through it.

Here’s what I know about grief, my own and those I’ve walked beside: many of us don’t know we can expect something good to come out of our grief.

We can?  

Yes.

Listen to Jeremiah 31:13, "...I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow." (NIV)

The Message Translation says, "I’ll convert their weeping into laughter, lavishing comfort, invading their grief with joy."

Amplified says: "For I will turn their mourning into joy, And will comfort them and make them rejoice after their sorrow."

God promises to give us:

  • Gladness and laughter.
  • Lavishing comfort.

Then, He says he will invade us with joy and make us rejoice. 

I don’t know about you but, not all my losses have ended like that.

Sure, after the loss...

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Failure, what do we do when we are faced with it?

 
I am no stranger to failure. 
 
I’ve failed licensing exams multiple times. Been passed over for promotions.
Ended engagements and
Felt the betrayal of friendship.
 
And then after being laid off I became an entrepreneur who learns through what doesn’t work. Again failure. 
 
This week, I even failed at my calling.
 
Is that even possible?
 
You betcha it is because I just did it.
 
I fumbled and fouled up those things that God calls me to do. Those things we aren’t at all naturally equipped for.
 
Not naturally equipped means it’s a set up for something to go wrong.
 
And it did. Publicly.
 
Doh!
 
“Why?”
 
“Why does this happen to me?”
 
Because God does his best work in weakness. 
 
Because he wants us to stop striving and to just be real, and raw, and messy.
 
I don’t like weakness and messy.
 
I like neat and orderly.
 
But as...
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Speak to injustice and declare what the Word says.

 
I have a heavy heart. So many of us do. We have seen injustice with our own eyes. We have seen one man take the life of another. We are angry. We are pissed because this should not be happening.
 
The death of George Floyd - and the countless others - should not have happened.  We are grieved.   What happened in the mid-west is terrible. The heart of our country is pierced.  
 
And we should also be sickened, because as quick as unity began to rally over this injustice it was squashed with negative voices bringing division and hate. This a cancer and we need healing.
 
There is only one person who can bring healing and that is Jesus.
 
We all need Jesus.
 
He died for all of this…Ephesians 2:14 says "Our reconciling “Peace” is Jesus! He has made Jew and non-Jew one in ChristBy dying as our sacrifice, he has broken down every wall of prejudice that separated us and has now made us equal through...
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Is it selfish to make time for yourself?

 
More than likely you’ve heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
 
We nod and we laugh
 
And yet we’ve all got places where we’re doing the same ole thing and still expecting breakthrough.
 
It seems easy to stop the insanity yet we can’t. 
 
One of the biggest reasons is: 
 
“I don’t have time for myself” 
 
Many even call it selfish.
 
Life is so full already. We don’t have a leftover moment to ourselves. 
 
We’re juggling work and kids, and then due to no fault of our own, we just got tasked — both unexpected and unwelcome — with stay-in-place orders and home school. 
 
Under the weight of all that we can’t do it all. We can’t be the perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect employee, and a perfect teacher. All at the same time. 
 
Then these kids want to eat, so...
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The answer to anxiety

 
My daughter walked into my home office with her latest creation, a homemade caramel iced latte from our kitchen coffee pot, the basic one not the one with all those fancy pods. Beaming with pride she sipped on this sweetness and described how she cracked the recipe code: just the right amount of syrup, and coffee, and milk. How the whipped cream and chocolate drizzle mimicked the one from the boutique coffee shop down the street. 
 
In her excitement I noticed something... her hands were shaky, and so were her feet. 
 
After celebrating with her for finally finding the perfect ratio I grinned and said, "I think your missing one thing."
 
She looked at me curiously as to what could be missing from this decadence her lips slurped through the straw.
 
“Your breakfast. You're wobbly and that tells me you didn’t eat.“
 
"Oh? yeah." She laughed.
 
We walked back to the kitchen together and I made her scrambled eggs and toast.
...
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Into the Unknown

Does this crisis feel like we’re in the middle of the unknown? 

From the corner of my eye, I caught my daughter dancing in the kitchen as she puts away dishes. She’s leaping and sliding across the floor with glasses, and plates, and silverware.  With headphones on, she is unaware she has an audience. I see her take a deep breath, filling her lungs with air just before she belts out:  “Into the Unknown, Into the Unknown, Oh-oh-oh-oh, into the unknown.”  She spins and stops with huge eyes locked on me questioning how long I’d been watching. Then, she bows.  Oh, that kid.

“Into the Unknown” is the song from Disney’s new Frozen 2. We find Elsa standing in the darkness, it is beckoning her to step into the unknown, towards something that is calling her. 

She must face her fears. 

She must trust she will be ok.

The unknown will answer questions of her identity

The unknown holds her destiny only if...

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Are you a comeback story?

More movies than I can count are comeback stories.   We love to see the victorious underdog or the champion fallen from the heights of accomplishment winning again.   We cheer; we are inspired.  However, when faced with trials, we surrender defeat unable to picture a comeback story for ourselves.
 
Why?
 
After my job loss I could have found a job in my field.  In arrogance I’d spent over 12 years building my reputation, experience and achievements.  But, God had clearly spoken - door slammed, locks bolted, hinges fused.  The doors were more than closed, the ‘No Admittance' warning tape crossed the door frame, cautioning me to steer clear.  His answer was the firmest ‘NO’ I’d ever heard.  This is NOT the path.  I feared disobedience more than the risk of following an unclear path, to an unknown place, with an uncertain outcome. 
 
God was inviting me to...
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From Robbed to Restored

Robbed. We'd been robbed. Or at least that's what it felt like to me. Our Virginia house had been on the market for longer than it should have been and we'd had no offers. Then, finally one came and the buyer wanted all my curtains and the appliances in our basement kitchen. The listing had clearly said these didn't convey. I had plans for those draperies in my new house, my Colorado house. And in my heart I'd already given those appliances to a family who needed them. She couldn't have them. What was the most irritating was she wanted the wrought-iron bench in my front yard. The bench was a gift in remembrance of my dad. That sent me over the edge. I dug my heels in. I didn't want to budge. 

It is silly really, but it was my reality and feelings aren't always reasonable. The pending cross country move and looming uprooting from family and friends was already so painful. Now this, this was taking even more from me. I was grieving, losing a big piece of myself in...

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You Are Equipped, Here's How.

When I lost my job, it was devastating on us. 60% of my family’s income just disappeared. POOF! It was the biggest trial my life, my marriage and my family had ever faced. Maybe for you it wasn’t a job loss, maybe it was something else. We are all hit by circumstances that send us into a tailspin.  You can get control back. You can bring order to the chaos. And you are already equipped to do it. 

Hebrews 13:21 says “God has equipped us with everything we need. Your trial did not surprise God, and mine didn’t either. He has already equipped us with what we need to win. Scripture says 3x he trains my hands for battle. How encouraging. God not only saw this coming, he made sure we were ready.

How are we ready? Here's how.  

In Ephesians (6:16) Paul tells us to, “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Whatever the enemy fires at us can...

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