Three Things…Trust

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; on all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

trust 2

Some days it’s hard to trust the Lord completely. We might dare to trust him with part of our day, part of our plans, or a portion of our sufferings but being human it’s our tendency is to hold back. We don’t give our all easily,  and we do reserve some or part of our days, plans, and even sufferings for ourselves alone.

Why do we do it?  Why do we forfeit the comfort, healing, guidance, and peace that comes of letting go and allowing God to have all of us?  As a wise mother once said, “Only God knows these things!”

Only God knows why we hold back, what’s behind our resistance, and why we would choose to go on suffering when relief could be ours. Maybe it’s that we have an agenda firmly in place in our minds and to veer from that feels unsafe.  Maybe we’re just out of practice regarding surrender. Maybe we have been hurt and the scar keeps reminding us not to make that mistake again. Maybe.

What I want to share today is three things I do when I need to move into a more trusting position in my life.


1 – I pray.  Prayer can open the door to many blessings and in my experience it is the only thing that will help me put my guard down and rely more fully on God.

2 – I accept the fact that my understanding will only get me so far and no further.  This is something I’m unwilling to admit when in full-on self-protector mode, but realistically, I have only so much power in this world, whereas God has all power. If I’m going to trust in anything, it’s probably better it be Him, than me.

3 – I ask myself the question:  “If you do the next right thing, do you believe that God will take care of the rest?  If so, what do you have to fear?”  For me, fear is at the bottom of every trust issue I have.  Can I trust God to not let me fall this time? Can I trust Him to speak to other hearts, and soften them on my account? Can I trust Him that if this is not the answer, the answer is something better?  Can I trust Him to know what I need and provide what I want?

Struggles with trust are part and parcel of what it means to be human.  We live in a society and culture where no one trusts anyone, any more, and that just makes trust harder.  It helps if we have a circle of friends who we can go to with our fears, ones that have proven themselves trust-worthy in the past.  But even then, if I’m going to risk putting something valuable in God’s hands, it may not matter what my friends have done or will do in the future.  The truth is, trust is hard and to do it consistently I need to practice.

Do you have trust issues?  What is one thing God has done for you that you could focus on as you prepare to trust Him today? 

3 Things That Keep Me Saying YES!

To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves and plunge both hands into life up to the elbows. It is easy to say no, even if saying no means death. Jean Anouilh

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:7-9

I daily read from a devotional entitled, For Today.  Today’s reading started out with these words: “It takes no effort, no risk, no investment of myself to stand back and not participate in life. There is no chance of me being disappointed.”

I thought about that for a while and agreed that a life of doing nothing is pretty safe, but is it how we believers are to live our lives? I think not.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

The Lord bids us to do three things that are pivotal to our salvation:
1. Trust Him in all things.
2. Look for Him in all places.
3. Follow Him into the future.

If we will do these three things, just these three things, we will spend our lives saying YES to opportunities, and NO to the devil’s schemes.

Today, lets keep things simple.

Let’s trust God, fully.

Let’s follow Him, exclusively.

Let’s praise Him, only.

Oh, and let’s say yes, Yes, YES to whatever He asks us to do.

Are you saying YES to God often enough?  What needs to change in your life, in order for you to YES more often?

3 Things-God’s Beautiful Work

What’s beautiful can easily be broken, but what’s broken can be made beautiful again.


This past weekend, we had an opportunity to get out of Dodge for a while, and travel to the north country to see the kiddos. It was a great time, but the quarters are cramped in their corner of the kingdom. We’re praying for a change of domicile for them. The boys are growing bigger every day, and they have plumb outgrown that tiny condo that was home to two toddlers and joys unspeakable through the years.

Papa God, please guide the kids to their new forever home. Make it easy, Lord, so that they don’t get frustrated in the search, and provide a buyer for this place they are presently in—full of wonderful memories, but needing to go by the wayside. We look to You, Lord, to lead the way in this venture. Thank You for always getting us where we need to go by virtue of your wisdom and strength. We have no doubt You will do it again, and wait in anticipation for your vision to take shape in their lives. Thank You!

While we were in the north country, we went to church with the mini me’s. The message for the morning was taken from 2 Corinthians 4:5-12, and was entitled “Jars of Clay.” Most everyone in my circle these days knows what it is to be a jar of clay. We’re all going through a surrender process of one kind or another. For me, it’s surrendering my youth and embracing (or trying to embrace), the years that seem full of health challenges, decreased energy reservoirs, and dreams of retirement. This, too, is life, I remind myself. I’m trying to make sure the days are full and memorable, but it’s not always easy.

Papa God, thank You for reminding me on the painful days that I shouldn’t make long-term plans or serious decisions. It’s so hard to focus during the rough days. Harder still to plan or pray. Thank You for reminding me that I can rest in You and trust that You’ll have everything I need ready for me, when I need it. I don’t have to decide today. I can simply trust in You for tomorrow. You’ve never failed me yet. I don’t expect you’ll start now.

The pastor at the church we visited on Sunday kept using the same phrase over and over in his message, for emphasis: What’s beautiful can easily be broken, but what’s broken can be made beautiful again. He was referring to broken pots, of course. 2nd Corinthians 4 pots. Us. Those creatures that through their own actions, or the actions of others, often find themselves fractured and lying on the floor in a million pieces. In this state, they think they’ve been destroyed beyond repair, but they are wrong. In similar fashion to how the Chinese repair clay pots with gold through a process they call Kintsukuroi, God repairs clay pots through redemption. He redeems our mistakes and selfish intentions, and he uses Christ’s blood to fill in the spaces between one pot shard and another. He glues us back together again with forgiveness and grace. How cool is that?


It’s true: What’s beautiful can easily be broken, but what’s broken can be made beautiful again. Maybe more beautiful than it once was, and stronger, too. I know I’m stronger for having been pieced back together by God.

Thank You, Papa God, for never giving up on us, for never leaving us in a million pieces on the floor, and for never, ever forgetting about us. Thank You for the healing that is available to us through Your Son, Jesus, and for leading us to the programs and people who can help facilitate Your healing in our lives. Bless this work, and the workers who cooperate with You to get ‘er done, I pray, in Jesus Name. Amen!

Do you have broken places in you, broken pieces in need of recovery or repair? If an option for repair was made available to you, would you take it?

Knowing My God

3 things!

God the Father has his eye on each of you, and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus. 1 Peter 1:2

Last weekend my niece and I got together to compare notes on some of the ickier parts of Scripture. You know the ones I mean; where bible heroes don’t act all that heroic and lies are told while sexual escapades exploit the innocent. It happens. Even in Bible times, it happened.

I love these kinds of conversations!

As we were sharing some of our thoughts together, I was reminded yet again that our God is not the God the world would like to portray him to be. He’s not love, love, love, love all the time. Neither is he like Thor, holding a big hammer over our heads and waiting for the right time to smash us with it. Our God is nuanced, and complicated, and sensitive. Yes, sensitive. His thoughts are not our thoughts. Neither are His ways our ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways, so that when we’d like to “Damn them all to hell!” he says, “Forgive.”

So many people have an impression of our God that’s been created by the world. Folks, that stuff you hear from people not in intimate relationship with God, yeah, that stuff’s not true. The world and God, so different are their realities, but so that we might not be robots without choice or free will, the world exists, and it continues to lead it’s inhabitants astray regarding their creator.


My God wants to get intimate with you! In fact, He takes intimacy very seriously. When he says in his Word that he’s using the Holy Spirit to woo us to him, he means it. He has a myriad of ways for doing that, but what I want you to know today is that He doesn’t just want our allegiance. He wants our souls. He wants them all for him, all the time, and he is jealous when we stray. He longs for us. He waits for us. He fiercely protects us. He does everything and anything with us in mind. He wants our companionship, but he wants more than that. He wants us to consider him, as much as He considers us.

My God works with flawed materials all the time. And, man, does He make beautiful stuff! We are his medium, and with his skill and passion for creating, He fashions us this and that a way. If you’re not someone who wants to be molded and shaped, you might find being in an intimate relationship with my God difficult. He is definitely in the transformation business, and yeah, sometimes it hurts. Think Barbie. Think blonde hair. Think how you pulled and pulled on it to get it just right as a wee girl. Yeah, that kind of hurt. But oh, the joy when the projects done. For you. For Him. For eternity!

My God will expect something of you. Every intimate relationship does. You can’t be intimate with someone without giving up part of yourself. To find true intimacy, you have to get naked before your beloved. You have to strip off everything that would keep you from feeling vulnerable. You have to let all those things the world pushes on you fall to the floor in a heap. It takes practice. The thing about the One who calls you to intimacy, though, is that He’s a passionate, caring, and constant lover. Our God makes us feel like we’re the only one in the room. In the world. In the universe! And His eyes are on us…never leaving us…always seeing into our souls.

Do you crave intimacy that goes beyond anything this world or the greatest romance you’ve had can produce? If you’re willing to take relationship with God seriously, if you’re willing to admit you’re flawed and yet intensely loved; if you’re ready to give as good as you get (you can never out-give God, but giving him your “all” is all He’s looking for), then you, too, can experience the joy that comes of having an intimate and conscious contact with the One who created you for Him.

God has transformed some pretty heinous and horrible people in his day. He loves the work. Why not let Him work a little wonder in you?

Do you shy away from the though of pursuing an intimate relationship with God? If intimacy scares you, what are you willing to do today to get past that fear?

apology sorry

As you can see from the graphic displayed here today, I’m on board with the concept that a good apology should include three things.


A good apology must include a sincere sorrow for wrongs done. This, in my opinion, is the hardest part of a good apology—being really, truly, and in all ways sorry.

It must admit fault, and I would add that it must NOT fault the party it is aimed at in any way. It’s not their fault I acted badly. That’s on me, and as a strong woman, my sincere apologies reflect me owning my unruly behavior.

Finally, a satisfying apology (at least for me, when I’m giving one), includes amends. If I’m not willing to change my behavior toward the person I’ve offended, I need to begin again, getting myself to a place where I can be really, truly and in all ways sorry for how I acted and/or what I said to hurt them.

Amends begin when my attitude changes.

If I have taken something (an object, a story, a tenderness, a moment in the spotlight), that didn’t belong to me, I need to make up for that. I could return the object—seriously, I am not a thief, I promise, this is only for demonstration purposes–or I could make living amends in the future. In the instances when I’ve barged in, directed the conversation away from another and toward me (guilty!), or gossiped about someone or something, bringing another person into a bad light with their fellows, I need to STOP that, START shifting my focus, and STAY on course with changing my behavior in the future. And this needs to happen over the long haul, and not just for a day, week, or month.

True repentance is reflected in my continual, every day, constant change over the long haul.

Here’s where things get tricky with both apologies and amends. Sometimes, those I have harmed make what I’ve done to them a secret they choose to bear alone. When that happens, neither of us learns…neither of us grows. Our relationship dwindles and dies, and you (the one I’ve unknowingly hurt), walk away with a wound that never heals and a story to tell others about what a monster I am. Unless you’re a better man than me, this is what will happen after I hurt you and don’t apologize.

Barring an apology from others when we’re hurt, we relive our days of warfare and show others our battle scars brought forward from them, falling into the sin of gossip.

So, here’s why I’m really writing this post today.

Yesterday, I had to write an apology letter to myself!

It was hard.

It was emotional.

I’ve hurt me in the past, a lot, and it’s never easy to recall it.

All those instances when I’ve compromised my values to have something that only brought momentary relief, I hurt myself. All those times I’ve disrespected my opinions, so I could go along with the crowd, I’ve hurt myself. All those times I’ve dissed myself, or taken care of others before me, or eaten myself into oblivion so I could avoid feeling real feelings that were relevant, but too painful to face, I’ve hurt myself.

I did things to myself I would never do to another person, and I have scars to prove it.

Yesterday, I recounted my misdeeds, hateful thoughts, cowardly acts, and less than friend-like reactions toward me, to me. I told myself I was done acting that way toward me. I told myself that I was really, truly, and in all ways sorry for the way I’d treated me in the past. I told myself that from now on I’m going to give me more respect. I’m going to listen to me more often. I’m going to treat me the way I need to be treated…the way I’ve always deserved to be treated, like I would treat you.

It’s hard making these promises to myself, because I’ve made them before and didn’t follow through.

Today is different. It’s a new beginning. If Jesus can give do-overs, so can I! If Jesus can love people into salvation, so can I. Doesn’t Scripture suggest that we are co-creators with him? (John 14:12-14; 2 Peter 1:3-4).

I want to create in me a vessel for God’s service that knows serenity and enjoys peace. I want to respect myself in ways I have denied myself in the past. I’m beginning that work today, and it doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past. Today, I begin again.

Do you need to apologize to someone for your bad behavior? What’s keeping you from doing it?

More Dreams…

Recently, I’ve made some changes to my diet that have been really good for my body. I’m happy about that. What I’m only “so-so” about, is the dreams I’ve been having at night. I shouldn’t complain, cuz, yeah, at least I’m sleeping, but these are weird. I wanted to write today about three dreams I’ve had recently, and how they’ve made me feel in my waking hours.


Dream One: During the night I dreamed that it had snowed; so much so that the roads were impassable in the morning. I mean SNOW, with a capital “S” and lots of it. This was on May 1st, and seeing that we had mondo snow and rain in April, this dream wasn’t all that far out in scope, but it was aggravating. No more snow, please! When I woke in the morning there was no snow. Whew!

Dream Two: This night I dreamt that my friend (past her forties and we’ll say no more about that), discovered she was pregnant. !!!!! Yeah, that would be a blessing wrapped in angst, if it happened to me. I texted my friend in the morning and told her about the dream, but also the snow dream. She sent me back one of those little emoji’s that is smiling/crying. Oh, I completely understand, girl. Completely!!

Dream Three: This dream I dreamed last night, and because it was so wild I took copious notes regarding it when I was awake enough to hold a pen. I won’t relay them all to you, but I will a few:

God allowed me to run in my dream last night. RUN! Not skip or jog, or walk/run, but run, full-out, and it felt great. I can’t remember the last time I was able to run like that. It felt incredible. I wanted to do it again. So empowering, that running stuff!

I was frustrated in my dream by a small girl who wouldn’t follow the rules. She was self-destructive, I thought, and I could see it but not change it.

I saw an old lady in a wheelchair (or was that an old wheelchair holding a lady?), who was bumping into things continually and running over people’s toes with her chair. She was moving around in spaces too small for her to move around in, and showing no respect for others. She wouldn’t listen when we told her she needed to stop doing what she was doing.

A hidden staircase, treacherous, appeared out of nowhere at one point. Not there. Then, there! RIGHT THERE!!! Bamm!  In the dream I kept hearing me, telling me, to “be careful!” Yeah.

These are the dreams I have when I change my diet up, or suffer from insomnia for too many nights, or haven’t dreamed in a while. Right now (the last three nights anyway), I’m doing okay with sleep. These dreams, they’re another matter entirely.

Do you ever remember what you dreamed the night before when you awaken? Are your dreams silly or scary?

3 Things I do every morning

I’m a creature of routine.  I love organizing my life. I love simple. I love beautiful and I love ordered.  It makes sense that because I’m “this” type person, and not another, that I have a morning routine that begins each day, but I know not everyone does.  My routine helps me get ready to meet the day faster and in a better mood.  Here is what I do to start my day off in the right way.


When I wake in the morning, the first thing I do is turn off the alarm clock, turn on the light by my bed, and reach for my devotional.  I have a ton of different devotionals, but right now I’m focused on Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence, by Sarah Young.  I like this devotional because it mimics the two-way method for praying and meditation.  If you don’t know what two-way prayer is, you can check it out here.  I usually read the Bible after my devotional, short snippets, cuz yeah, I gotta get ready for work. Then, off I go.

Almost every morning of the year I get a strong cup of coffee to use as a wake-up call to my soul. I love coffee, but I don’t drink as much of it as some folks do.  I particularly like iced coffee, so I drink a lot more of that than I do the hot brew.  My sister is to blame for my iced coffee addition.  She’s the one who got me started with the cold brew.  I must confess, morning is not  morning until I’ve had my coffee.

Once I’ve arrived at work, I have a routine I go through to open the office. I’m usually alone for this part of my day, and I like it that way.  I unlock the door, turn on the lights, and head for the coat rack. After putting my stuff away, it’s out to the break room to make coffee for the crew. They love it that it’s always hot and ready, waiting for them when they arrive in the morning.  I turn on my computer and I check my emails and Facebook, before settling in to begin my work day.

In addition to my daily commute to work (about 25-30 mins, depending on the day), these are the things I do without consciously thinking about them. They are my M-F 9-5 habits.  The routine of them might drive some folks batty, but for me, they are a calming influence.  As you are reading this today, my routine has been broken by an appointment my husband has, and for which I am his designated driver.  My routine will be thrown all out of whack by doing this today, and I’m sure I’ll feel it, but tomorrow I’ll be right back at it–doing my thing. Because, yeah, I like routine!

Are you someone who thrives on routine?  What is your favorite morning habit?

“Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures…” Acts 17:2



3 Things I like about Kindred Spirits

There are three things I like about kindred spirits.

1-My kindred spirits “get” me! I don’t have to try with them. They are cream to my coffee, and loose reins to my “giddy-up!”  Being with them is like swaying in a hammock above a sky of puffy white clouds; complete and utter relaxation and entertainment.  They are not work, for me. They are joy.  I can’t get enough of my kindred spirits, and I hope they can’t get enough of me.

2-My kindred spirits know how to focus me. When I’m with a kindred spirit it feels like someone has crawled inside my head and turned my mind to the exact right angle for viewing my world.  They do this in the best of ways. It’s not manipulation, it’s knowing how I think, because they think the same way. They aren’t my clone, but they do process in a way that I understand and relate to easily. Often, they are the type of people who could finish my sentences for me. They know me that well.

3-My kindred spirits beat back isolation in introverts like me.  They don’t have to talk a lot to pull me out of my shell.  They pull me out because what they say and do is enthralling to me.

Do you have a kindred spirit in your life?  What is the best thing about doing life with them, in your opinion?

3 Things I Love About My Church

I love my church!  I know some people say stuff like that and don’t really mean it, but I do. I love the people, the events, the facility, and the leadership.  My church feels like home to me, but there are three things that stick out as most impressive about the place where I worship God.  I wanted to share them with you today.


1-I get to put my skill set to good use at my church, and I get to try out new abilities.  No one hassles me about not getting it right the first time when I try something new, but most importantly, we are able to laugh together about our fumbles.  This laughing about what doesn’t go according to plan creates a safe space for people like me to try new things.  God gets the glory when things go right, and we learn a lesson about humility and perseverance when they don’t.  I love that about my church!

2-The second thing I love about my church is that the truth of Jesus is taught there in transparent and vulnerable ways.  The people at my church aren’t afraid to say “I’m not sure what that means.”  They also aren’t afraid to say, “Let me get back to you on that one, after I’ve done some research and talked to a few friends.”  That the people at my church don’t act like know-it-alls or VIP gurus, gives me confidence that I can trust them with my soul and the spiritual questions I have.  I love that about my church!

3-The third thing I love about my church is the way it invites the un-churched to join us in seeking God.  We talk a lot about the Visitor in the Room, always with an eye and ear for whatever doesn’t sound inviting.  It’s easy to get in a rut regarding the place where “we” all feel at home. So maybe we don’t pay so much attention to the chair that’s broken, or the faucet that sprays all up and down the front of you whenever it is used.  At my church, we’ve begun a habit of saying to one another, “Would this be a comfort to visitors to God’s house? Would this make sense to them? Would they be able to find this study, or know where to park, or understand where to take their kids during services here?”  I love that we’re actively seeking to remind one another about what’s important.  Visitors are important!  I love that about my church!

What do you love about your church?  Why are you there, and who have you invited to join you making your church, their church?