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Is it just me? Sometimes disappointment, frustration, or fatigue keep banging on the door. You’ve got a project, dream, plan, but it’s stuck. You wonder: Is it me? My skills or vision? Do I lack proper education or experience? Is my heart really in it?
I read about some fisherman who may have thought the same. They worked all night with nothing to show.
Were they unskilled?
No. They were “Fisherman.”
Was the net broken?
Nope. Strong and ready.
Were they in the wrong place?
Continue reading “It’s Not You, It’s Timing – How to Keep Hope When Nothing’s Working”
Encouraging memes can fall flat when you’re in the middle of a firestorm. My experience is that problems or stressors rarely come alone. I’m dealing with X, but Q is spilling over, and my heart is breaking about T (and D through K).. I’m not sure I’m going to make it about P….
Do troubles wait their turn?
Continue reading “Diamonds & Pencils: Become the Hero of Your Own Story”
Day 5 from the #UnashamedList Series. Written especially for youth or young adults navigating sexual integrity, porn addiction, identity, etc. Series intro here.
These posts are crazy vulnerable. This one was extra hard to write.
Remember when I said I gave it away to the first guy I kissed? (ugh). We weren’t even dating. It was just a friend who happened to be very cute, and a bit older, and anyway..
(ps, I 100% dispute the size of that “forever alone” quadrant
Continue reading “10 Life & Sex Lessons Mom Never Told Me: #5- The “Everything But Sex” Approach Doesn’t Work”
To the part of me that keeps screaming
To the part of me that keeps screaming,
Or is it wailing and on fire?
No one sees or hears you,
but I’m the witness.
Continue reading “To the part of me that keeps screaming [Poem]”
Why can’t I find Corrie ten Boom books in my library? This Dutch girl was part of a family that hid Jews in their Haarlem home during WW2. Betrayed by her countrymen, they ended up in camps and she wrote amazing stories of hope and God’s Hand through the darkness (eg. “The Hiding Place“/”De Schuilplaats”).
When touring the home (free and I highly recommend) the guide pointed out a framed embroidery of Mess. Hundreds of tangled threads hung midair and I longed to shift and organize them to make sense of a pattern. If I remember correctly, the guide asked:
Continue reading “Sense in That Mess? There May be Hope for us Heroes…”
I’m a bit bible nerdy and instead of skipping over peculiar texts, I sometimes dwell on them. It’s a quirk I’m trying to appropriate so here’s my take on a text you probably never heard preached in church: The fourteenth day.
It appeared during Moses’ instructions to Israel before the 10th and final, most gut-wrenching plague. Every first born was to be killed and this plague sparked the Exodus from Egypt.
Continue reading “The Fourteenth Day: An Obscure Prophecy That Might Give Everything Purpose”
Christmas is a time to enjoy cozy lights, sweet treats, and Dutch gezelligheid – a wonderful word without pure translation, but roughly: nice/comfy/friendly/cozy- ness.
Some think of “baby Jesus,” or making everything just right, and still others wish to fast forward through the season. Holidays can be painful for some so I want to share a verse I’ve never heard at Christmastime which may give hope, especially to any who’ve ever been oppressed. Or maybe it gives more perspective beyond the baby in a manger.
Continue reading “The Torch and Oven: A Christmas Story You Didn’t Hear”
Disney’s Brave touched my heart like Frozen, but deeper. In Frozen we glimpse sacrificial love and our divine identity, but Brave touches something deeper: the reality of our love-hate relationship with God.
Merida, a fiery and fun-loving princess who wants to live on her own terms (who doens’t?) runs up against traditions that oppress her spirit. Her mother tries to prepare her for all the ways and responsibilities of a princess, including arranged marriage, but the pair are losing their minds and each other.
Continue reading “If God Was a Bear: “Brave” & Rebelling from Love”
Why doesn’t Lightning come down straight? It’s ferocious and 5x hotter than the surface of the sun, so shouldn’t it just, literally, charge down?
I never gave lightning much thought until I heard a Capital Kings track, Forever. One lyric line, “I feel Your Lightning in my veins,” touched something in my heart and I was inspired to find lightning wallpaper for my phone. As I admired it, I realized how much lightening looks like our veins…
Continue reading “God like Lightning: Are You Doing the Zig Zag Too?”
This starts with a snail named Turbo who dreams of speed. When Turbo almost drowns in an engine filled with nitrous oxide–and my kids and I started getting nervous– I started to wonder: isn’t that stuff laughing gas??
SNL skits and Steve Martin flashed before me, and I checked wiki to confirm: sure enough, the stuff that numbs pain and causes giggles is the same stuff that turns car horsepower into unicorn power.
I don’t believe in coincidences so what’s God trying to say??
Speed and Joy can go together like Slow and Annoyed, but maybe the connection runs deeper. What if Fun, Laughter, and Joy are some of our Greatest Weapons in life?
Maybe that’s why they’re constantly under attack…
Continue reading “Laughter, Joy and Power: The Nitrous Oxide Connection and Tips to Keep it Going!”
The garden of Eden taught some hard and sad lessons, including that we wouldn’t trust God without testing Him first. Parents warn their kids not to touch a hot pan, but don’t they/we ultimately want to know for ourselves?
Bieber had it right:
“I got to learn things, learn them the hard way.
Gotta see what it feels like, no matter what they say..”
(“Ill show you” Justin Bieber, Purpose album)
(Sure, some lessons we never want to learn firsthand, but maybe that’s because we saw the result in the life of another…) Continue reading “Love Needs “Limit” To Shine: Why We Won’t Trust God Unless He has a Last Piece of Pie”
This post is part of the #GodsOneLines series–breaking hate and/or shame caused by people wielding bible verses. Instead I want to use single bible verses or events to encourage and reveal God’s Heart if possible.
This story starts with Tears– mine as I write, and Heaven’s one fateful day.
It starts with the return of Jews from Babylonian exile. Their repeated offenses, including refusing to set servants free, caught up with them despite divine warnings. Sure, they listened for a time, but soon after changed their minds, re-taking men, women and children into captivity (sounds like the Moses story with Pharaoh, right?)
Continue reading “Choosing Law over Love: A Sad Example of Broken Families from Ezra”
Today my son was cranky. Going out for breakfast with four children– three of them 4 years and under– isn’t easy or fast and my eldest was annoyed. “It’s too druk!” he protested (Dutch for busy/hectic), and I tried to soothe and encourage him. I shared about family from the perspective of The Incredibles (many God-lessons come from kids movies, like Frozen), noting that when they fought side-by-side they were the strongest. But my son didn’t want to hear, much less see me.
I suggested he walk ahead so it was like I wasn’t there, but he started to cry: ‘You are always there!”
The world got quiet and slow and in an instant I had a heaven-flash…
Is this what I said to you, God? Is this why we can’t “see” You? Did I not want anything to do with You and, didn’t trust You had my best interest at heart, and, from eternity, was totally fed up with “Your Presence”?? Ouch.
One of the saddest glimpses into God’s Heart comes from this paragraph from Paul of Tsarsus:
Continue reading “Totally Unsatisfied with God – How My Son’s Tantrum revealed Heaven’s Painful Secret”
A picture with caption “true friendship” and heart dog emojis came on my twitter feed. Many replies read “awwww,” but my heart broke when I saw it…
Did people chose to overlook the life status of this pair? Maybe it wasn’t popular to burst the love bubble with, “But they’re homeless!” Whatever it was, only one of the many replies said: ‘I wish I knew where he was so I could help.’
Continue reading “Igniting Heaven on Earth: Sound the War Cry in Your Heart”
You can prepare a room, prepare baby clothes, and try to prepare yourself, but nothing can prepare you for the wild “nesting” phenomenon that rises in you. I got hit bad, worse than most women I spoke to. And just to be clear, I was never a housekeeping guru–simple tidy, not spotless, was my m.o.– but almost overnight I had an itch to scrub and organize everything. And not just the “baby room,” the whole house.
Beauty and Perfection became the new standard and I was on a mission, without realizing, to make the best “nest” possible.
Continue reading “Nesting Made Me Nuts – How Prepping for Baby points to Heaven’s Heart”