A Tiny King

Snuggles by light of the Christmas tree bring so many thoughts to mind. I reflect on Mary’s song and wonder about that miraculous night so long ago in a stable. How incredible to be the first to hold the Christ child, to warm him skin to skin; to behold majesty wrapped in cloth. I wonder what her mother heart felt as he grew. Did she worry about him getting enough milk as she nursed life into him? Did she pace the floor the night of his first sniffle? Did she rock him gently wishing time would stand still? Did worries of His future keep her up at night? How was it to stare into the face of God? I imagine her heart leaped as she gazed in to the tiny eyes of the King of the World! I envision his very breath easing every trouble of her weary soul. Pure delight. Breathtaking splendor.

Raising Light! ❤

My Secret Weapon

“Those days”.  You know the ones, when the world dumps down on you and everything that could go wrong does go wrong.  You start to spin in circles and feel overwhelmed by the pressures.  So many roles to play, so many responsibilities, and so many things not going the way you would like them to. It is in those moments, I have but one place to go; His presence.

There, before my God, I am no longer a mommy, a wife, a business owner or a daughter; except a daughter of the King.  Here, in my robe of white with my princess crown securely in place, I dance before my Lord and he holds me until all I feel is His love.

All else fades.

Every care of this world pales in comparison to the look of love upon His face.  Nothing else matters. Only this; I am His.

We have two choices when the circumstances of this life cause the earth we know to crumble beneath our feet.  We can either fall under the weight, entering in to that pit where the 4 D’s (distraction, deception, discouragement and defeat) wait to devour us completely or we can straighten our crown, realizing these circumstances are merely an opportunity for glory-strength to rise up within us.

Glory-strength is the strength outside of your own.  It comes solely from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  When you operate in spiritual strength, all things are possible because the outcome is no longer up to you.   Today, I choose glory-strength and I know I will only find it in His presence.  In the world, that means I have to do whatever it takes to get alone with God, even for just a moment.  As a mommy, that can mean getting creative.  It might mean sitting on the bathroom floor (aka my “sanctuary”), locking myself in the closet, sitting in my car in the driveway, taking a walk or any other means to find quiet.  Not that His presence isn’t with us in every moment, even in the chaos and noise but it’s in these quiet moments that we can lock onto that strength we need for the next crazy moments.  However you have to make it happen, I assure you those few precious presence-filled moments are worth it!  They are golden and stirred with happenings in the spiritual realm we can’t even fathom.

Glory-strength is the power to accomplish all things, greater things than you can imagine, through Him.  It is what Philippians 4:13 is talking about.  When you leave the sacred meeting place of His presence, you are changed.  Not only do you take up your secret weapon of glory-strength, you also become radiant. In Exodus 34, Moses spoke with God on Mount Sinai.  When Moses left that holy place his face shown and was radiant.  So much so, that he wore a veil over his face to speak again with the people.  When we meet God face to face in these sacred spaces, we too become radiant as His presence fills us.  That radiance is exactly what the world needs to see.  Others need to see your passion, your desire, your drive, your energy and your excitement!  They need to see you shine!  They don’t need to see one more person beaten down by circumstances.

Today, instead of opposition, choose opportunity.  Let Glory-strength prevail!

Hebrews 11:1, Exodus 34: 29-35, Philippians 4:13

Fail or Faith

“You failed”.  It was the second time I heard that from the doctor’s office regarding the recent blood work.  Is there no better way to word it?  No, just “you failed”!  It has a way of ringing in your ears making you think there was something you should have done to succeed.  Every pregnant mama knows of the dreaded “glucose test”.  You go in, they take your blood, make you drink sugar garbage as fast as you can and check your blood again in an hour.  If you fail that one, as I did, you get to go back in for the 3-hour fun.  This time you sit and sit and sit after drinking the sugar garbage and have your blood taken every hour to see if you’re a really big failure or just a small failure.  I ended up with the double fail.  Yep… #totalmomfail

The disappointing factor is; I’m healthy.  Health is my business!  I eat well, I exercise, get plenty of rest, drink over a gallon of water a day and take supplements to fill in the gaps.  Taking care of my own health and helping other’s with theirs is what I do daily.  It’s how I make a living and it’s something I take pride in. But alas, “you failed” is what I heard.  Twice.

You know that moment of choice where you either decide to have a huge pity party, whine and cry and complain or take it to God and fix it?  Yes? Okay, well I chose the first path with this.  First, I complained about all the people I know who guzzled sodas, ate loads of candy and ice cream and never exercised their entire pregnancy but somehow never had any issues.  Then, I felt so bad for myself.  I listed a million ways this will impact my happy little schedule.  After all, who has time to check their blood sugar three times a day?!  And finally, after a day of wallowing, I took it to God.

I couldn’t figure out why I was getting so hung up on this.  Really, what’s the big deal?

The big deal is this.  In this world we live in our fragile human hearts want to believe that hard work equals success.  If we work hard at our job and make wise decisions with our money it will lead to prosperity.  If we take care of our bodies it will lead to a long healthy life.  If we take care of our children they will grow up to be perfect little people. However, news flash…it doesn’t always happen like that!  In fact, most of the time it doesn’t.  Businesses still fail. Retirement plans collapse. Children still disobey. Our health continues to fail.  Why?   Because we live in this world.  This world will never subscribe to a perfect formula because it will never be a perfect place. It is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.  Heaven is our eternal home and our only constant hope.

But God.  But God is one of my favorite reminders.  Those two words remind me even if the perfect formula is not present in this life, a perfect God is.  He dwells within us, walks among us and surrounds us in His love.  While worldly circumstances may never be perfect, His plan always is.  He works all things together for good.  In some crazy mysterious way, we weaves every up and down into a tapestry of love.  While we’ll never understand it in this life, we can be certain of its hope eternal.

With that, I’ll prick my finger, check my blood and continue to take care of this temple because God has a perfect plan for me.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Romans 8:28

One Thing

It’s a preschool day for my son and my husband volunteered to do drop-off this morning.  I stepped out of the shower and into the rareness of a quiet house.   A brief sigh of relief was quickly ebbed by the thousands of “should-do” thoughts that came rushing into my mind.  As mothers, we have but few moments to ourselves so they must be used ever so wisely.  I should unpack those bags still sitting in the living room from our trip last week, I should start a load of laundry and definitely get those dishes done, I should turn on some music and clean (you know REALLY clean) this house, I should water the flowers and pull those weed, not to mention everything I should be doing for our business.  I’ve got messages to follow up with and notifications on social media blinking at me eagerly waiting to be opened, along with a list of phone calls to be made.  Then one tiny voice in my head whispers, “or write”.  Write; the one thing God has been so patiently and lovingly nudging me to do for the last few years and the one thing that always seems to come last.  We all have one thing; that one thing we love doing but it always takes a back seat to the many “have-to” moments in our day.  Maybe yours is reading or praying. Maybe it’s creating artwork or music.  Or maybe yours is just sitting quietly in His presence.  Whatever your one thing is, if you’re like me you don’t let yourself do it very often.  Why is it that the things that feed our spirit the most we all too often give the least amount of space in our lives?  Maybe life just gets busy, maybe we’re so busy pouring into others we neglect ourselves or maybe it goes even deeper.  Maybe we don’t even feel worthy of this precious time with our One Thing.

I so frequently find myself striving for perfection in every area of life that instead of excelling in one aspect, I feel like a failure in all areas.  I’m not sure how many roles you play in this world but most of us are juggling several hats.  Yours might be employee, student, daughter and friend.  Mine are wife, mother, daughter, friend and business owner.  Each one takes up a vast majority of time and when you add them all together, sometimes it feels overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to be “the best” at each one.  I blame social media and the Pinterest mom generation for this need to excel at our daily tasks.  What else are we to do? We’re constantly bombarded with images of the mom who just made her kid a snack of fruits and vegetables in the shape of a train (how in the world?!!), the crocheted blanket someone crafted up for a friend’s new baby (while you just grabbed a gift card last minute) and the beautiful spread of (yes, all organic) foods the wife loving prepared for her husband, while you realize it’s 5pm and haven’t a thing in mind to make.  Yes, I blame social media because that’s where we see this portray of perfection but that’s not really where the blame rests.  There is an enemy who would love to defeat us at every turn and if he can use a picture of a fruit and veggie train to do it, he will.  The problem isn’t everyone else and what they excel at, the problem is us.  The problem is me buying the lie that I’m supposed to be the best at everything I do.  What if we’re just supposed to shine in our One Thing?  What if the very thing you put off till last is the one thing you need to focus on the most?

So I’m writing.   Today, I choose my one thing.  I choose to quiet all the other voices pulling for my attention and focus solely where God is leading my heart.  The beauty of this life is that yours isn’t the same as mine.  Maybe you need to go focus on making baby blankets or cooking dinner because that is where God has called you.  Maybe pouring into your children or your husband is exactly where He wants you to be.  Or perhaps you are reading this on your lunch break and God has called you to invest in your career.  Then excel.  Do what it takes to make that your One Thing and be the very best at it, but don’t try to be the best at all the things.  Staying in your own lane and keeping your eyes on the path uniquely planned for you can be one of the most difficult challenges in this life.  Their grass may look greener but it will never feel as soft as what is planted beneath your own feet.  So I’ll do my one thing and you do yours and together we can create a beautiful garden.

Ephesians 2:10, 1 Peter 5:8, Proverbs 16:3, Proverbs 3:5-6, Luke 10:42

One Piece, One Peace

puzzleOnce again, I came to that checkpoint in my day; the sacred “naptime” where every mom has a critical decision to make.  1-2 hours of uninterrupted time (if I’m lucky) and how to spend it?  There is always part of me that just wants to stop, drop and snooze.  Then the Susie Homemaker in me wants to make the house presentable (she never wins). The business woman side of me just wants to power through and get as much work as possible accomplished in that time.  That one usually wins.  After all, this business pays all our bills and allows us to help others along the way.  However, today my heart said, “write”.  I find it so difficult to let my heart win this one.  Writing these days feels like a luxury as I sit amid piles of laundry and dirty dishes with a to-do list a mile long running through my mind.  But alas, here I am.  I’ve realized that when I silence that one passion, this outlet, this need to for self-expression I not only feel distant from the One who created me to write, but everything else in my world suffers as well.  I become grouchy and irritable at the other duties I feel are pulling me from my heart’s desire.  That, my friends, is an ugly place to live and everyone in my house notices it.   You see, I could forge ahead, trudge on and strive to pave my path in this business while keeping all the other pieces of my life in place. Or I can stop, center myself, commit to this calling God has placed on my heart and allow Him to hold all the pieces as He weaves the path for me.  All the striving and pushing forward won’t amount to anything if I forsake the very desires God placed in my heart.  And whether I am good at it or not, He has placed a desire for writing in my heart.  When God places a call upon your life, just forget about being equipped, competent or superior in any way.  All He needs is for you to be obedient. So today, I choose obedience.  I choose to trust in what I cannot see and believe that he will bless all the other pieces I laid aside in order to pick this one up.  Above all, I choose Him.

Philippians 2:3

Sank You

I have always believed we can learn so much by watching children. In fact, it is one of the reasons I became a teacher. I just never realized how great a lesson one could teach you, until today. Now that I work from home, my son only goes to child care a few days a week but we always make that drive time special. Each morning we pray and sing songs and each afternoon we talk about his day. Today was no different. We started out by thanking God for the sunshine and the great time we had on vacation this week. We remembered to pray for Grandmas and Grandpas, cousins and our dog and to thank Him for things like trucks and tractors. But my three-year old does something else each time we pray that today touched my heart in a distinct way. He thanks God for his biggest fears. This kid is fearless when it comes to heights, heavy equipment or airplanes but is terrified of the hand dryers in public restrooms, hates elevators and is not a fan of escalators or using the potty. About a month ago, I noticed he would thank God for these very things as he prayed. “And sank you God for elevators and escalators and hand dwyers and the potty”. At first I just thought it was really sweet, but as he prayed it today my eyes filled with tears and God spoke to me in a very real way. Thanking God for our current circumstances creates a cord of hope that connects us to His ultimate desires for us. Sometimes God changes our situation and other times he offers the strength to endure it. Either way, our current struggles have been lovingly planned by a Father who will never let us bend so far we break. I spent years going back and forth in this constant struggle of viewing every problem as an attack or at the very least an obstacle. Life became me versus the world and at times even felt like God versus me. There were times I even began to look at problems as punishment. When my son was born, anxiety issues I had dealt with my whole life were suddenly magnified and on many days I found it hard to breathe. I knew God was big enough to take that feeling away and my prayer was that he would, in an instant. I kept praying and waiting for the magical moment when God would just say “storm be still” and all that was raging within me would be no more. That was not the way he chose to deliver me. From that dark and frightening place, God chose to draw me near to his side; to come to know him in a new and more personal way. He became my very breath, my strength to rise and my song. The cord of hope was extended and the journey to the me he created me to be began. My struggle did not end in an instant and my circumstances were not suddenly changed; I was. I began looking at things differently and learning from the trials in my life. As my perspective changed, my situation changed. Years later, I can look back on times of trial and realize God was doing something there. For some situations, I still have no answers but I trust in the One who does. As my son thanked God for his four biggest problems in life, I began thanking God for mine. I started visualizing what blessings might be born from brokenness and started speaking those blessings out loud. I thanked Him for the things that irritate me and the things I still wish I could change about myself. That act opened the door for God to begin working in those areas. The cord of hope grew. What if one day, I looked at everything as one more love knot in the tapestry God is weaving in my life? This journey to our ultimate home in eternity could be so much more vibrant if we only let love win. If we learned to be grateful for our faults, fears and failures and let God use them for his glory what an impact we could make with our time here on earth. This one step, this one lesson from a three year old will be my starting point. “Sank you God…”

Holy Ground

Morning barely makes its appearance and she wakes, taking her Bible in hand and tip-toeing through the house. She walks past the laundry pile begging to be folded and curtails the dirty dishes in the sink. Her destination is that secret place. She swiftly makes her way to this favorite spot where she meets with Him once again. Quietly she opens the pages of that worn Bible with the underlined passages. She prays no one wakes to disturb this precious time. This time she needs. This time she craves. Even a few moments here in the garden of His presence is enough, but she always craves more. He is tangible in this place and she has come to need that more than anything else in her day. She needs Him first. Some need a cup of coffee in the morning, but she needs the One who quenches her soul. He is the one who meets her greatest desires. Here in this place, deep cries out to deep. Creation dances with creator. Breath and soul meet the giver of life.
It is good.
It is needed.
She sits quietly breathing in his presence. She praises by sensing his greatness. She asks by revealing every thought to Him. She confesses by bearing her heart. Nothing is hidden. Nothing is wasted. Here, there is no condemnation. Here, every weight is removed. Burdens are lifted and every desire is taken, held and considered for the perfect time.
His love overwhelms her and his peace envelopes her. She is seen. She is known.
This is holy ground.

Luke 10:42, Genesis 16:13, Exodus 3:5

Great Love


A few days ago we found a baby bird. It had fallen from its nest and it was not old enough to fly. The little guy was certain to be prey to the next animal that came along but we weren’t sure how to help him. We couldn’t find the nest and weren’t sure if the mother robin would come back for him. My husband couldn’t bear to leave him on the ground so tiny and vulnerable. He knew he would either starve because he was too young to find his own food or be killed by another animal, possibly even our dog who was watching all if this intently. We called the animal rescue center and they gave us some tips on how to help this baby robin. In the meantime, my husband fed the tiny bird worms by hand. We read that these little guys need to eat from the time the sun rises until it sets each day, and should be fed every 10-20 minutes during that time, but unlike mammals, robins never need overnight feedings. Whew! And I thought nursing an infant was work. On the advice of the rescue center, my husband crafted a makeshift nest out of a minnow trap and attached it to the side of a tree with a bungee cord. Ok, so it wasn’t the Hilton but it was a place to stay, more along the lines of the Motel 8 variety of bird domains. Within minutes of being placed in his temporary dwelling, the mama robin came to him with food. She came and she came and she came. Back and forth she went getting worms for him. It was her job. She never rested, just fed that little baby. Within days, he had nearly doubled in size and flew out of the nest. Still she would find him and feed him. Whether he moved to another tree, was hidden in the branches or landed on the ground, she would find him and take care of his every need. Even when she left him, she was aware of him. She knew exactly where he was at all times and those moments when she left his side, she was still tending to his needs. Isn’t it amazing that God created this bond even in the smallest of animals? He planned every detail and equipped the mother perfectly to care for her fledgling. The Bible tells us if He does this with even the birds, how much more does he care for us? Matthew 6:26 tells us our Heavenly Father feeds them and cares for their every need and that he does the same, even more so for us. Luke reminds us, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” After all, we are of much more value to him than birds. Christ laid down his life for us. He gave the ultimate sacrifice. The Lord cares for us so deeply that even the hairs on our head are numbered. So how much more does he tend to our needs than a mother robin cares for her young? Can you envision it? The God of creation, the One who made the Heavens and the Earth watching over you, sheltering you under His wing, bringing you nourishment, keeping you safe and never letting you out of his sight? No matter where you go, how far you fly, He is there. We can exclaim with the Psalmist, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” What love is this? What great love not only covers a multitude of sin but cares for your every need as well. Only God. He is all and is all we ever need. Let Him care for you and remember no matter where you fly, He is there.

Luke 12:6, Matthew 6:26, Matthew 10:30, 1 John 3:16, Psalm 139:7-10

Same Love


My son broke his arm this week. He is 2 years old now, so I suppose it was just a matter of time before we took this rite of passage into boyhood. It is official now, I am the mother of a rough and tumble little boy. What’s funny is that my son is actually quite cautious in nature. He’s never been a climber, doesn’t try to run in the road and avoids things that look dangerous. I really thought he was the last kid that would break a bone, but here we are. He is wearing his purple cast like a badge of honor. One tough cookie. Yesterday, we were waiting in the orthopedic office when I heard an unusual sound. I looked up and from our room could see into the hallway where a prisoner was being led past us into another examining room. The sound I heard was the shackles and chains he was bound by. As he walked, more shuffled, along I could hear the chains clanging together. He was dressed in a full orange jumpsuit with a label in bold black letters across his back naming him a prisoner of the county jail. A captive. Typically, my first response would be one of judgment, wondering what he did to get in there and irritation of why “someone like him” was being brought in such close quarters with the rest of us. Perhaps, the Holy Spirit is making some breakthroughs in the hard places of my heart because I thought neither. My response was an overwhelming feeling of knowing God loves him. God loves him. He loves him the exact same way he loves me; the exact same way he loves my little purple cast wearing 2 year old. He loves him. Oh how he loves each one of his children. He loves us not for what we’ve done, nor what we’ve failed to do. He just simply, constantly, without reason, loves us. I sat there breathless, in wonder of my God who sets no restrictions and no requirements on this Great Love. I know of it; this love. But I fail to comprehend it, rarely give it and struggle to accept it. Our human minds, in all their complexity still strive to conceive of a love that knows no conditions. See God loves this prisoner now, even in his chains, the same way he will love him in eternity. I too often think I’m earning some merit badge of love here on Earth. I strive as if God’s love and favor are dependent upon my actions. God has chosen, for reasons only He knows, to bless us right now with this business. As it grows and our territory expands, it is so easy to start to think we are doing something great. We are making a difference most certainly and we are making an impact for His kingdom by following His leading and it is spectacular, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to what awaits us in eternity. This life is but a mist, a vapor that appears for just a moment and is gone. What awaits us is unfathomable. In the end, God will have loved me the same here as he does there. He loved me when I walked in chains, before I knew him and he will cover me with the same blanket of love when I gaze into his face in Heaven. I will never earn it nor be worthy of it. Today, whether you sit in shackles and chains or you are following God’s leading to a call bigger than you, know you are loved. You are equally, completely and abundantly loved.

James 4:14, Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:10



It was early morning when my son fell out of bed; our bed where he had slept all night kicking us, but both of us where too tired to move him to his room. I was up with my hot tea writing away when “clunk”; every mother knows that terrible sound. A thud then screaming. I ran right out of my slippers as I dashed to the bedroom and struggled to open the door because the crying little body was right in front of it. I snatched him up and did the full body check once over; no bleeding, no sign of concussion, not that I even know what to look for, and no sign of broken bones. Everything was moving and every body part was working. Immediately, as I sat down and snuggled him in close to my chest he stopped crying, closed his eyes and fell back asleep…hopefully concussion free. As I held him close I started thinking about how the Lord holds us. No matter how badly we’ve fallen, no matter how far the fall, he picks us up and holds us until we calm down and find rest once again. He checks us out, heals any wounds and holds us close. We may develop scars from the fall, but scars tell a story you know. Scars help remind us where we’ve been and how we’ve healed. I have all these funny little scars that remind me of my childhood. One on top of my foot from the time I did a cartwheel in the living room and crashed into the wooden chair. One from a piece of metal stripping on a step in the church at Vacation Bible School (today someone would probably sue the church), even my c-section scar that brought my son into this world. They each tell a story and bring a memory to life. Some scars though aren’t visible. Some have left an imprint on our hearts, etched deep in our minds. They may be painful; terribly, terribly painful scars. Some of so much pain that they are buried deep in an effort to forget they exist. Some right on the surface, fresh, like it may rip open any day. The world tells us time heals all wounds. Christ tells us, I took all your wounds upon myself. He alone is our burden bearer and healer of all scars. He alone can hold us in the dark places after a fall and bring us to his rest. His presence is healing balm, ointment to our minds, salve to our souls. He knows where we’ve been, not as an outsider who watched our journey, no the bible tells us he experienced it. He felt our very pain, our sorrow and the weight of our sin and shame when he hung on the cross for us. His scars, the deepest of all, save us. His scars make us free. His scars give us hope. Our scars hold a memory, his hold our future. His wounds secured our home in heaven where all our scars will be no more.

1 Peter 2:24, Psalm 46:10, 2 Corinthians 1:4