I know of a sacred place—sacred to me anyway. Walk alongside the rose bushes by my Mamaw’s dusty blue house, pass by the strawberry garden and the cherry tree. Keep going and you’ll see the pine tree my brother planted as a little boy in the middle of the blues and yellows and pinks of the flower garden. Pause to take in the peculiarity of the snapdragons and the sweet aroma of the pink roses. Through the arch where the grapevines crawl, you’ll find a little girl, singing songs to the horses on the farm across the lake. She sang “Amazing Grace” to the goats and geese long before she had a clue what it meant, making it a sweeter song when she found out at the age of twenty-one.
She also used to “write songs” in the garage and believed she’d be a big star someday. Praise the Lord she was wrong.…
Have you ever had to choose between gasoline and food? I have. Have you ever had to overdraft your account to be able to eat? I have.
As a new believer, I was entered immediately into a series of trials. I was single, healing from the heartbreak of a broken engagement, working two jobs that barely paid more than minimum wage, and not just struggling to pay my bills—failing to pay them. I couldn’t afford rent, let alone car insurance, so when I was pulled over for expired tags (something that completely slipped my mind), I had nothing to show for coverage. One court date later and I no longer had a license.
How was I supposed to pay my rent if I couldn’t drive to work?
Things were tough. I thought my life was falling apart, but truly, God was using these things to put me back together.
The Lord Provides
Looking back, I’m amazed at the ways God provided during that time.…
I feel a sort of protection over the wildlife in my backyard. As a child, I imagined myself to be like a Disney princess, surrounded by wild animals. As an adult, not much has changed. Currently, there’s a mama robin tending to her nest on my house, a few baby squirrels in our pine tree, yellow finches on my bird feeder, and until yesterday, two adorable bunnies grazing on the frosted green grass each morning.
Now there’s only one. We found the other’s remains leftover from the neighborhood stray cat that’s been hanging around.
It’s nature, but is it really natural? Death of innocent animals? The cuddly cat that becomes a predator? Hawks that swoop in to steal new life?
I’ve been studying the old story of the first garden where death didn’t exist and God’s creation was untainted. Things were perfect then—they were good then, as God declared (Genesis 1:31).…
Last week on a video chat with some close friends, I told them I was really thankful to not be one of those popular Christian writers who are expected to speak to cultural issues. “I don’t wanna write about the coronavirus. There are so many articles out there already.” I said.
Famous last words, I guess.
Because just two hours later, I found myself typing away.
That same day, tears filled my eyes while hugging my husband. I was overwhelmed with emotion, partially due to fear and also a burden for those most at risk for mortality. I must admit though, that my sadness had more to do with things of much smaller importance.
I saw my plans slipping from my fingers and it grieved me. My first summer with my baby boy, TGCW20 (a conference for Christian women) with my friends, vacation with my family at the beach. All of it is up in the air and I’m bummed.…
You know what’s interesting? The two most wise women in my life are the most impartial women I know. They seek out the outsiders. They look to meet the needs of all who surround them, not just those closest to them.
It’s almost as if James was on to something when he included “impartiality” in his description of true, godly wisdom.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17
When I think about it, truly to be impartial is to be peaceable, pure, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, and sincere. It’s to pursue peace with all, love others with a pure motive, be gentle in our handling of other people, remain open to hearing perspectives that differ from our own, show mercy to those many may avoid, and love others out of sincerity. …
After lying in a dentist chair for three hours, I finally walked to the front desk to check out. What was done was done—no turning back now.
The lady asked a question, and when I heard myself answer—immediate tears. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
At thirty years old, I sobbed in my car over the sound of my own voice. While driving home, I tried to sing. More tears! My lisp was so bad I sounded “ridiculousth.”
“Well, obviously I can’t sing at church anymore.” I thought to myself. No more worship team for this brace-face. I’ve always lifted my voice unashamedly whether in the congregation or while helping to lead them in song, but now I’d decided those days were over. I’ll just quietly sing to myself…
Oh but wait…am I singing to myself or to God? Why the sudden change? Will I allow the alteration of my singing voice to be an excuse for not worshiping with my whole heart?…