New Reasons for Thankful

“When God closes a door, He opens a window.”  While this expression is nowhere in the Bible, it does often ring true.  God closed the MINI door but gave me a brand new (3 miles on it) Honda Fit.  I am so thankful for the new ride and the generousness of the interest-free loan from my Dad.

I was trying to get my MINI paid off so that I would not owe money to a bank, given what is happening in our economy right now.  When I had the accident, I thought I would have to start over.  My father agreed that it would be unwise to borrow a large sum of money from a bank right now but insisted that I buy a new car as many of the used cars around were recently subject to flooding.  I told him that I could not have it both ways.  He told me he wanted to help me so that I could.  I am very thankful for the car, but even more thankful for my father. (more…)

It’s Always Something!

I find it interesting that over time the force of water flowing can change the landscape completely.  Linville Falls in North Carolina is a beautiful example.  Water rushing down into the gorge has caused a stunning waterfall.  The picture to the right was taken from the top.  Water has shaped the rocks and created it own path though what was, thousands of years ago, a solid mass of hard stone.  Little by little, over years and years, the water has won.

I have situations in my life that act as rushing water over my stony, hard, fleshly thinking.  I was reminded of this yesterday.  I had a great day at work (very busy but that’s normal) and then coffee with a dear friend.  It seemed perfect.  I pulled into my driveway, opened the mailbox, and there was yet another letter from the New York State Department of Taxation.  Now they have issued some sort of warrant to collect a smaller amount of money, stating that I still owe from 2004, 2005, and 2006.  We have already resolved this four times.  Apparently, one department has never spoken to the other.  Ever.  I’m not sure they even know each other.  The funny thing is, I only lived in New York for two months in 2006.  It’s always something. (more…)

The Dream is Tested

I got the letter yesterday.  InterVarsity Press said that I “write well and have good insights here.  However…..”  They have declined publication.  I’m not really surprised.  And this is certainly not my last effort.  It means the path is longer and the dream is tested under more patience.  From what I can read in the letter, they won’t publish me because I’m not famous enough and they are unwilling to risk limited book sales, in this economy, with an unknown.  That’s fair.  And good stewardship on their part.  I’m sad but still determined.  I believe God wants this stuff out there. (more…)

Nothing is a Lot!

Recently a friend told me that he has tithed for years and God has blessed him with an abundance of “stuff.”  Another friend told me that she was blessed to be a wife and mother and was trying to figure out why she “deserved” such goodness in her life.  It got me thinking.

I am 41 years old (don’t tell anyone).  I tithe, do full-time ministry, and practice many Spiritual disciplines.  I have no house, no husband, no children, no car (at the moment).  I have nothing that makes others feel God’s love for them.  Hmmm….. (more…)

The Light of the World

I used to be really afraid of the dark.  Now I’m only sorta afraid of the dark.  I don’t like the dark because I can’t tell what is coming in front of me.  I can’t predict what will happen next so I can’t prepare myself for it.  Things, bad things, could be upon me before I have a chance to plan my reaction.  I tend to struggle when things are uncertain.

I don’t think I’m the only one with this issue.  The fear of the future causes most of us to do unhealthy, control-type things to ease the discomfort of the ambiguity.  I tend to worry.  Or I play out every “what-if” scenario possible and exhaust every possibility in my mind.  Nothing ever plays out the way I’ve envisioned.  My feeble attempts to provide light to my uncertain situations do not leave me with direction.  Instead, I’m often burned by the very light I’m trying to provide.  I predict the wrong outcome, get worked up about it, and then look foolish when it doesn’t play out as I have “awefulized.” (more…)

Fall Changes Things

Is it me or is it hard to believe it is already November?  Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I heard “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” in Target.  What?!  You know what this means, don’t you?  Another year has flown by and we still act like we’re shocked by the date.

This got me thinking…cause that’s what I do.  Each year life changes drastically.  If we put ten of those years together, we are a light age beyond where we were back in the 90’s.  Technology has changed, TV shows have changed, music and cultural things are different… (more…)

Why I Do What I Do…

This is a picture of my office.  I work a lot of hours in this room.  To be honest, sometimes it is really hard work.  I often feel the weight of people’s marriages, their difficult pasts, and their present chaos.  I am usually very tired after my 9-hour day.  I sleep hard and try to play hard on the weekends to keep the balance.

But sometimes, more often than not, I get to see small miracles in this room.  I’ve seen husbands finally find their courage to step up to loving their wives well.  I’ve seen women finally grieve the loss of their childhood innocence.  I’ve had the honor of being the first to hear the trauma stories and the first to see how God has healed them.   (more…)

Step Into the Deep

We had another awesome women’s retreat this weekend.  I was one of three speakers at this intimate event to lead women of our church to a deeper walk with God.  I spoke this morning about our Eve moments, the moments that we realize we’ve done something we can’t fix.  How often we try to hide it, or minimize it, or ignore it altogether.

This group of women was ready for what God had for them.  As we prayed for Him to stir our hearts to bring up what we were hiding, these women became very real with God.  I so admired that.  I want to be authentic with God and stop the hiding.  I don’t mean to hide sometimes.  I am just so used to it that I don’t know that I’m doing it…until I want to hang out with God.  I feel His wooing and I can’t respond because I’m hiding behind a huge fig leaf trying not to be exposed.   (more…)