Anxiety much?

I’ve been feeling anxious lately.

It’s that obnoxious type of anxiety because I once had peace – a lot of it and it feels like I’ve misplaced it somehow.

Doctors have run tests and scans and I am perfectly healthy by all accounts.

But I could barely function.

Peace, joy, and a host of other good things were seeping out of my life and I couldn’t understand why.

I was being the mom my kids needed.

I was being the worship leader that my church wanted.

I was being the wife that supported my husband.

I was being the daughter I should be.

I was being the friend that was always available to listen.

I was doing all the things I thought God wanted me to do and be.

All of these roles serve people I love. And I am passionate about being all of those roles- mother, worship leader, wife, daughter, friend.

But all of me was hurting.

My body.

My mind.

My spirit.
Let me just say, not a single person asked me to be something I’m not.

 I did that all on my own.

I’m driven by nature and sadly sometimes still find my worth in what I can do rather than who I am.

Relate much?
Am I called to be all of those things.



Worship Leader.


So since last Fall, I’ve been muddling through what life should look like for me, because I don’t want to be that exhausted again.  Ever.
But thank God for good friends and strong coffee.
I have a friend, and musical mentor extraordinaire, tell me that she felt like God was telling her that I was taking on too much.

That was what God gave me as my starting place and like I said, the past 6 months have been a painfully slow learning process.

So what’s the secret of juggling the demands of life without losing ourselves in the process?

For me, it’s been learning about boundaries and rest.

Really practical, I know.

But sometimes the most practical words are the most spiritual and more importantly, the ones that God is speaking in the moment.

“Stress was hurting me physically and emotionally. But the Lord also began to show me that stress was hurting me spiritually. I was allowing the external pressures of life to affect my internal peace and joy. If I didn’t make some major changes, I was never going to fully enjoy the life Jesus died to give me.”
Joyce Meyer 

from her book “Overload”

I’m hoping to blog more on this- because it’s important.

It’s important to remember to have some fun in this life and that we are worth far more than what we produce. 

In the waiting


In The Waiting

Hold on to your promises, even if they feel a little tattered and torn at the moment.

God moves in seasons.




I’m not sure, but I think sometimes that farmers must understand God better than us city kids.


There are seasons when we are waiting on God to blow on our dreams and to answer prayers.






My friend Praveena and I went out for dinner a couple of months ago and she said in her usually brilliant way, “God is teaching me how to hold onto my dream without having any casualties in my relationships along the way.”


Doesn’t that sound like the God we know.

The one who wants us to have our dreams.

The one who loves people.


The one who wants us to learn how to do both.

Have our dreams and love people.


In the waiting, we’re learning how to do just that.


Maybe it goes without saying, but waiting is hard.


Waiting is really really hard.


God’s kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.

In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bride-groom’s here! Go out and greet him!’

The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’

They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’

They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.

Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, ‘Master, we’re here. Let us in.’

He answered, ‘Do I know you? I don’t think I know you.’

So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive.

Matthew 25:1-13

(The Message)


We read this verse a lot when we talk about Jesus coming back, but I believe there’s a kingdom principle embedded in this story.

Those who have been wise to hold on to their oil, to not give away their hope and their faith in who God is, get to enter into the party with Jesus.


Because when the time comes, they have hope that gives them light to see and discern the opportunities God brings our way.

These are the ones that held onto believing the promises of God, even when it felt like you were just holding on by a thread.

It still counts.

Remember Jesus said, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed.

And a thread is bigger than a mustard seed.


So hold on to your promises, even if they feel a little tattered and torn at the moment.  God is good and he always comes through for us, the ones he loves.



Photo Credit: “Sparkler” by Unsplash, permission through C.C. by 2.0

The Eye of God

The Eye of God

I write for my sanity.

You thought I wrote just because I loved you.

I do.

I really do.

But writing also helps keep me sane.

You see, by writing I have a built in excuse to go to a coffee shop every week and write.

My husband is a business guy, I call him the Human Calculator, because, we’ll he is.  It is freaky how well he can calculate numbers and percentages in his head when it comes to money. And because he’s a bottom line kinda of guy, in his mind – paying for coffee every week is a business expense -which means I can get away with it.  (Take notes ladies, this is how it’s done.)

So that’s part one of my self induced therapy plan – self-medicate, ie, drink coffee.

But the other part is to write about how I feel and how I’m processing the world, because . . . lean in. . .  I’m a stuffer.


Yeah, you heard me.  I stuff my emotions.

Which is why blogging is a such a great outlet.

At the heart of blogging is connection.

It’s all about letting another person into your world, the way you think and what you feel.

Because of this, bloggers are awesome people.


But right now I hate blogging.

And I kind of hate being a blogger.

And I definitely don’t feel awesome.


Because it means that I’m one of those people who processes her world by writing about it.



I’m a stuffer who writes about the stuff I don’t really want to write about because I figure if I put my stuff out there, I won’t be as much of a stuffer anymore. – Say that 10 times fast.

Here’s what my stuffy side doesn’t want to say tonight.


God’s not done healing me.


I actually thought he was.

I thought I had finally moved past all of my childhood issues and was on the cusp of something big. . . like the promised land of adulthood.

But I don’t think he got my memo.


Actually it’s the opposite.

It’s like he saved one of the biggest bombshells for last.


And here it is: Because of growing up in a home with a schizophrenic mother and living in a constant state of childhood trauma – I have  ummm — cough — tendencies.




I said, I have — cough — tendencies.


Alright, fine.



There, I said it.


Maybe not a shocker for you, but it is for me.


And now I’m going from a season where I thought I was finished with all of this inner healing stuff to my-dreams-are-feeling-a-bit-like-sand-slipping-through-my-fingers-all-because-I don’t-know-how-to-not-be-overly-responsible-and-just-trust-God-when-it-comes-to-other-people’s-emotions.

Grrrrr me.


Here’s the crazy part, I knew he was up to something.

I was playing the piano one afternoon and just spending time with him, when God shows me this picture of a giant eye.  It reminded me of the nebula in the photo above.  Not intimidating or scary, but I was very aware that my heart was being searched.

And since then, I haven’t heard God say anything about it.

But I’m pretty sure that this discovery of codependent tendencies is tied to that day.


God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

Hebrews 4:12-13 (The Message)


Okay seriously, I didn’t even know I had codependency issues until like 2 months ago.  And it’s not like I want to keep them or anything but man, I wish that God would snap his fingers and make it just go away.

Open a can of miracle, right here, right now.

Because I am one bewildered girl right now.  Lez just be honest.  I did not realize I was as messed up as he is showing me I am.


My friends and family, however, are not as shocked.


To make matters worse, this has not been a fast moving kind of revelation.  This is more like a slow as molasses revelation.  As in, every day I’m going to show you what is going on and how it is affecting you and the people you love.



This really sucks.


But I don’t want to stay this way.

I really do want to change.


Repentance at its core is being willing to go through the process of being changed.


Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (The Message)


Okay, Jesus, so healing is what you’re offering me in this season.

I’ll take that mercy.

I’ll accept that help.


Photo Credit: “Helix Nebula” by WikiImages, permissions through C.C. by 2.0





Photo Credit:


I’m in the final stages of editing my book and I should be excited.


But I’m not.


I’m terrified.


I’m sitting in a corner in Panera as I type this, trying to resist the urge to curl into a ball and rock back and forth.


Am I afraid that my writing isn’t as good as I want it to be?



Am I afraid that no one will read it and I’ll become the laughingstock of social media sites everywhere?

Probably a little.


Am I afraid of putting myself out there and letting everyone see the scars and bruises of my past?

God, yes.


Why are new forays in being open and honest always so scary?


When we were pre-kids, Jason and I went to resort in Mexico for a friend’s wedding.  It was beautiful – room service, gorgeous beaches, room service, fun people, and did I mention – room service. They even made those cute towel animals every morning and put them on the bed for us.  Awwwwww.

It was perfect and . . . ummmm, nude.

The pool staff were apparently used to having some of it’s more European guests more comfortable with the ‘skin to the wind’ philosophy.


If you catch my drift.


So we averted our eyes as an older couple literally let it all hang out.  Wrinkles, pudginess, and all.  Vulnerability like that is hard to come by.

No, really – I think I swam to the other side of the pool.  It was that uncomfortable.


Being open and honest is difficult.

Especially when it comes to our dreams and goals.

I used to think that I was a little like that older couple.  That I was okay with letting it all hang out, letting people watch me grow in the process of pursuing my dreams.

But the truth is, I’m comfortable with you letting it all hang out.

Me  – I want my stuff nipped, tucked, and in a tidy package.

I want to look like I have it all together.


We don’t like to be naked and exposed.  All of our flaws out in the open for everyone to see.


But when you’re venturing on something new, it is inevitable.  You and I will make mistakes and people will see our “nakedness”.


Maybe you’re starting a new business?

Launching a new ministry?

Moving to another state?

Writing a book?


It’s all new and a little scary.


When did we stop giving ourselves permission to try something new?

To have the confidence to try?

Hebrews 10:35 says this:

Do not, therefore, fling away your (fearless) confidence, for it has a glorious and great reward.

(Amplified Bible)


The definition of confidence is, “full trust, belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.”


Full belief in the reliability of God to see us through.


When did we stop believing that God was big enough to help us in the newness?


I don’t want to stop believing that God is bigger than my flaws.

I don’t want to stagnate in my thinking.


So, I’m going to try this whole European, openness thing.  I’m going to fight the urge to bury my book in some file on my laptop.


I’m going to hold onto my confidence.


How about you?



Scattered, my new book, comes out June 1st, 2016.

Hugging the Coke Machine

*Quick note:  Free is good!!!  You’ll only get about 10 minutes of the link instead of the whole thing if you use your phone to access the link.  It is free for  the next week or so.  Definitely check it out on your PC, laptop, etc.  Also, you can download the iBethel app for free on your phone which will let you access all of it instead of the 10 minute preview.*


Morning, sunshine!

Like me, you’re probably groaning, pulling the covers over your head and begging for coffee.

Its too early for a post (I’m not that coherent in the morning), but I couldn’t wait to share this with you.

I laughed, I cried. . .I wanted to hug a Coke machine after it was all said and done. . .

Bound yet Free

We live an odd life as Jesus lovers.

We are free.

We are bound.

Free in our creativity, our expression, our choices.

Bound in our love to each other.

And I think most of the time the free in me is not at odds with the part of me that is bound to you.

Except. . .

Except last week, I found myself staring at our family calendar and found myself wishing desperately for a paper bag to breathe into.

All of the things I “had” to do were slowly creeping into the life I wanted to be living.

And I thought back on last month and realized I had started developing some weird twitches.


I’d be in our mini-van rapidly switching radio stations looking for the perfect song.

Don’t knock my mini-van – they’re the new black.


I’d had this monster craving for Doritos.

No mom, I’m not pregnant.


I found thoughts slipping into my day, whispering things like “What am I supposed to be doing?” and “What am I really supposed to be doing with my life” and the kicker, “Am I slacking? Should I be doing more?”


And more than anything else, I was tired and running on empty.


The only thing that seemed to satisfy was the Doritos.


But that only lasted for like 5 minutes.


Everything else I found myself running to felt like stale chips.

My very full, very fulfilling life suddenly became exhausting and empty.


And of course, this all takes place like a silent movie.

I had to step back and read the subtitles to understand what my erratic music choices and cravings for Doritos and questions about identity were trying to tell me.


I had gotten a little selfish with my time.

No, not hoarding piles of quiet time all to myself (sigh, I wish).

But not really considering that the gift of quality time is one of the best gifts I could give to those around me.

And I know that the enemy always tries to attack my calendar first.  Tries to get me running from obligation to obligation because it wears me down.  It distracts me from truly loving you.

And then, everything goes a little fuzzy and suddenly, I can’t quite remember what I’m doing here anymore.

Kinda like when you walk in a room and pause.  Wondering what you came in there for in the first place.

I was here for a reason. . .what was it?

So, the free in me is not at odds with the part of me that is bound to you.

I like you.  I love you. . .except when I get a little selfish (dude, get your own bag of Doritos) and truthfully, nothing makes me more selfish than when I’m tired.

Worn down.

Distracted by the minutiae of life.

And as I stared at our calendar, wishing for a paper bag and now, some more Doritos I realized that somehow our schedules had filled up with really good, well meaning things but nothing that really satisfied.

I had run out of energy for the important things.

The specific things that God has asked of me.


I had gotten suckered into the lie that I needed to be doing more.

And it’s dumb, but I find myself here, like every 9 months or so.

Realizing I’ve done it again.

Gone running with the butter knife, when I knew darn well I should be walking with it.

And it didn’t end well.

For me or the knife.

And so I took my blunt,bent butter knife and cut a few obligations and whatdya know, I can see my way forward through the haze of Doritos again.


It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?

My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?

Galatians 5:13-18 (The Message)


What is that God has called you to?

I’ll give you a hint. . . it probably isn’t more ministry.


Gasp, oh no she didn’t.  Did she really just say that?


Yes, yes I did.

Remember my last post?

Dauntless, baby.

M’kay, maybe a little sprinkle of Candor too.


What is it God has called you to?

I know for me, it took awhile to remember the answer to that question.

What do I know that God has asked me to do?

Staring at my calendar I had to take some time for reflection.

Did my litany of things I just had to do line up with anything God had told me to do?


Was I giving my whole heart to my hubby?

Yeah, guess I didn’t push him off a train.*

I must like him too much.


Was I giving my kids my undivided, unexhausted attention?


Was I writing?


Was I making an effort in my relationships to stay in touch?  To be the one who initiated actual conversation.

So I nervously started making some cuts and saying no to new things that came up.

I started untangling myself from the obligations and started coming back to what was essential for me and my relationship with God.

And my relationship with those around me.


My schedule looks a lot less cluttered, kinda like my head these days.

And I’m not there quite yet but I’m feeling nice enough to share my Doritos with you again so that must be a good sign.

Just don’t lick your fingers and stick your hand back in the bag.

That’s so gross.

What? I said I wasn’t quite there yet.



*please refer to last post before calling the cops. . .and, umm, maybe watch the movie too.

Caged hope

The voice of hopelessness is a subtle one.

Sometimes it’s the only voice we recognize, because it’s all we’ve ever known.

I was praying for a friend lately and the Holy Spirit showed me a picture of a beautiful canary.  Bright yellow, sunshiney in color.

It was the perfect picture of her.

She is pure light and laughter.

Her life is this ridiculously giddy song of joy – you can’t help but love to be around her.

But this beautiful canary was behind the bars of a bird cage.  The door was opened and the canary could have flown out – could have been free but had been a prisoner for so long she didn’t realize that her freedom was just steps away.

And God spoke to my heart, she is free but she doesn’t believe it.

No one can force her out of the cage without causing trauma.

It broke my heart.  There was nothing I could say or do.

She thinks God has abandoned her and her family.

And they are hurting.

So badly.

They have given up hope.

It made me realize the importance of nurturing hope and keeping it alive for ourselves and others.

But how do you nurture a thing like hope?

(It should be noted that I’ve successfully killed off every living plant in our house except one and that’s only because I’m not allowed to water it, touch it, or talk to it.)

I think I’ve found the secret to keeping hope alive though. . . turning towards God with our disappointments.

Disappointment is a hope-killer.

Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,
    but a sudden good break can turn life around.

Proverbs 13:12 (MSG)

Its a crucial thing to learn if we’re ever going to hold on to hope.

What does that even look like though to turn to God with our disappointments?

I can only tell you what it looks like in my life.  And I’m only recently learning how to do this.

It looks like a toddler having a bad day.

There’s alot of pouring one’s heart out in tears and “I don’t understands”, but there is something really healing about it.  God’s presence has never failed to meet me in my honest moments of coming to him with emotional scraped knees.  He always holds me and tells me it will be okay – even if he doesn’t explain why it happened in the first place.

But it’s done something for my hope – something amazing.

It’s kept it alive, which is better than our former houseplants can say.

As for my friend, the beautiful yellow canary?

God always hopes and he hasn’t given up on her. . . it is just going to take a little longer to coax her out of her cage.

He is our hope when we’ve run out.

Thank God for God.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

Jeremiah 29:11 (The Amplified)

for i know


Faith Aborted

Why is our faith broken?

I don’t mean faith as a substitute word for religion – I mean faith, the substance of things hoped for.

The proof of the pudding.

Shouldn’t we be seeing financial miracles, people dancing out of wheelchairs, kids in the cancer ward miraculously with full heads of hair and no sign of cancer, families restored, the list of would be miracles goes on and on and yet it really doesn’t, does it?

Maybe if we just hit it with a hammer it would start working?

Its not like we don’t hope for those miracles but the difference is that:

faith is when hope becomes reality.

I know, I sound like I’ve got this whole faith thing figured out, huh?

Not really.  Truthfully I’m writing for myself tonight more than anything else because I am in the middle of my own personal boot camp of faith.

God is stretching faith muscles I didn’t really know I had.  It’s painful and I’ve fallen down a lot, gotten mud in my face, had to crawl under barbed wire but the sick thing is. . . I kinda like it.

Not the pain but the realization that my faith is growing which means I’m one step closer to being a part of those miracles – partnering with God to bring the heaven, he so desperately desires for his kids, to earth.

I’m stoked.

Even as I type this I’m believing God for an insane amount of money to cover our bills.


I would laugh if my faith muscles weren’t so sore.

And as I’m believing God for this money to show up, I hear this thought flash across my mind.

“It’s okay if the money doesn’t come through.  You’re on your way, but your faith just isn’t there quite yet.”

My first reaction was to agree with it.  It sounds mildly encouraging even if it’s patronizing.

But then I took a step back and realized that wasn’t how God would want me to think.  He would want me to be crazy courageous believing that the money was coming through.

When Jesus told Peter to come to him on the water.  He didn’t say something patronizing like, “Well, Peter, how’s your faith today?”  or “Were you responsible enough to remember your water shoes?”

Jesus said, “Come!”

Matthew 14:25-31 (HCSB)

Around three in the morning, He came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and cried out in fear.

 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

 “Lord, if it’s You,” Peter answered Him, “command me to come to You on the water.”

 “Come!” He said.

And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

 Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

So after I decided I wasn’t going to agree with the thought that let me off the hook for really going all in for trusting God to provide, I had this realization that we stand on the threshold of so many of God’s promises and throw the towel in right before we see the promise materialize because we’ve aborted our faith.

We kill it right before it sees the light of day.

We get suckered by the lie that God’s not really coming through after all and so we scramble in our minds to come up with our back-up plans, because we know all too well that disappointment hurts.

And we abort our faith under the pretense that since he hasn’t come through yet. . . well, we should face it – he isn’t coming through at all.

Sadly we miss out on that awesome experience of walking with Jesus on the water.

I bet it was epic!  Super-hero like, even to see Jesus walking on water.

And I imagine that Jesus was excited that Peter had the courage to walk on the water with him.  Just as he’s excited when we stretch our faith to be that much more like him, that much more with him.

And what does he say, but “Come!”.

Don’t give up on your faith – it’s not broken.

It’s just being stretched.

Feel free to grab an ice pack and join me.