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Glory Stealers

Glory Stealers

It’s puzzle season in my house right now. Usually starting sometime in November I start feeling the itch to start one. I’ve always loved puzzles, but they just hit differently in your thirties. Maybe it’s a (almost geriatric) millennial thing. Anyways, you know who else loves a good puzzle? My three-year-old. He’s actually not terrible at them, considering how young he is. He has a funny habit though, of taking pieces out of my fingers right as I’m placing them in their designated spot. If I manage to get one locked in before he grabs it, he has to take it back off of the board and pretend he was the one who found where it goes. With a triumphant, “It DOES go there!” he puts the tiny puzzle piece in its place. Little glory stealer. Just kidding.

That did get me thinking though, how often we try to steal the glory from God.…

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All My Not-Enoughness

All My Not-Enoughness

I see a post on Instagram from another Christian writer and it’s so beautiful and wise and creative. Wish I’d thought of it. I’m not creative enough, I conclude.

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I’m writing a book and sometimes my brain hurts and the words won’t come. I feel overwhelmed by the phrases in my mind and how I can’t seem to make sense of them myself, let alone for my reader. I’m not smart enough, I send in Vox to a friend.

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My son acts out. I know it’s a cry for attention because his baby brother demands so much of me. I snuggle him, play with him, and involve him in activities, but he still requires more. I’m not available enough, I lament.

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My mind is so full of information that I forget appointments, plans, deadlines, medications, or just simply to drink water. Guilt floods my heart in bed because I forgot to put ointment on baby’s rash again.…

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Seasons of Spiritual Drought

Seasons of Spiritual Drought

If you walked the path alongside our house from the driveway, you’d find a patch of dried up wildflowers. Continuing around the corner and past the blue chair on the patio, you’d notice more dead plants in pots as well as a much bigger patch of dried up, shriveled stalks that used to be zinnias. Ah, winter.

I thrive in the summer. Winter just isn’t where it’s at for me. But as I go on my morning walk, I do appreciate what the brown grass and leafless trees preach to me. It’s easy to feel discouraged at the sight of their dormancy. It’s what is unseen that brings me delight and hope. Underneath all that dryness is a life, ready to bloom—to be revived. And it will be revived, soon.

This ushers in hope because it’s a picture of the spiritual drought many Christians walk through. We fear the winter will never let up.…

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A Safe Place from Wounding Words

A Safe Place from Wounding Words

Have you ever decided to open up to those around you only to have them use your honesty as ammo? What happens when someone who is supposed to protect and love you wounds you so deeply you begin to question everything? Maybe it was a friend, a fellow church member, or even a pastor. You start to wonder who can you trust? Who won’t use your honesty, vulnerability, struggle, or grief against you? Their words may even cause you to question your identity or worse, your salvation. Is there anyone you can run to now?

Friend, there is. You can run to your Lord who sees. More than that, he cares. He knows the nitty gritty details of your pain—the words that wounded you that you can’t share. He sees how confused you are and the questions racing through your mind. The injustice you’ve experienced is not lost on him.…

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The Storms that Flood the Fruit

The Storms that Flood the Fruit

Years ago, on a whim, I grabbed a bag of zinnia seeds and scattered its contents into the empty earth of my flower bed. A few weeks later, after I’d just lost our first baby at 9 weeks, they began to bloom.

The tall sea of flowers became a sort of oasis for me. Bright corals, deep reds, and unique pinks sprung up before my eyes singing songs of life at a time when death felt so close—so, within me. I cherished these blooms, clipped and gathered them to my heart like I would’ve the little one we lost. I stared at them for long moments, savoring the gifts God was giving me through them. Gifts like perseverance, remembrance, and abiding joy. 

That was six years ago and each year since I’ve anticipated the last Ohio frost so I can push tiny seeds into the earth and watch God work.…

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Sin has Stolen Much; Christ will Restore it All

Sin has Stolen Much; Christ will Restore it All

I felt them coming. The tears. The ones that had been threatening to flow from my eyes all morning as we prepared to go to the church we were visiting.

It was there, in the corner of the nursery and surrounded by strangers and small children, that the dam broke. The more I fought it, the more the tears streamed down my face.

Honestly, in the moment I couldn’t tell you why I was crying. But now, weeks later, I’ve realized those tears were a declaration.

“It’s not meant to be this way.”

I transitioned into motherhood just months after experiencing one of the most painful conflicts I’ve ever walked through. Then a few months after our son was born, we entered a never-ending pandemic. I don’t think about it much, but it really has stolen a lot. It was a thief of my son entering the nursery at a less anxious age, learning how to sit still at restaurants, and attending more play dates.…

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