His Word, Kids/Parenting, Link-Ups, Soul Relationships

What’s Your Season?

 Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NLT) For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.


Ahhhh, spring.

I love this time of year. The weather begins to get a little warmer, the flowers begin to pop up from their winter slumber, and new life is forming

Have you ever had a particularly rough season in your life? Like the seasons of the weather, seasons in our lives come and go. And most of the time, we are able to learn a lesson or two.

We know that there is a purpose for every season of life, season of the weather, season of marriage, season of parenthood. Each season has its own intent.

My husband and I love the fall. We love the changing colors, the cooler weather and, of course, football! We love the fall so much, in fact, that we chose to get married in the fall. We made the decision to have a small outdoor wedding with only our parents, our children, our siblings and their children.

The rainbow of colors on the trees, the green grass, and the brown fields served as the backdrop for our intimate ceremony.

Our fall nuptials led us right into the holidays and the winter season. I love the winter season, for different reasons. Sometimes, I feel like I should have been born a bear. I love the cold weather for hibernating. I love the smell of hot chocolate and the feel of the brisk air on my cheeks.

The winter was a tough one for us. We faced some challenging circumstances with one of his older daughters. I had a battle with my son’s father looming in the not so distant future.

And then there’s the fact that I wasn’t working. Which was a blessing in itself; however, from the time I was able to work at age 16, I’ve always had a job. I had tied my worth to my monetary contribution to the house, therefore, I was feeling pretty insecure.

Through each season change, I’ve seen God’s faithfulness demonstrated. I feel Him bring the chill of the colder weather so we can all experience a season of rest. I see the new life that is coming around the corner with the spring.

I know that each season God has me in serves a purpose. I know that the grey winter, filled with challenges, sets me up for His blessings of the spring.

But the spring is all the evidence I need that God hasn’t given up on His creation yet. This is the season of beginnings, fresh life, and new experiences.

For me, this spring is helping me to lean into God’s light. I am ready to leave behind the darkness and struggles of winter and look to the promises of spring.

I am ready for a season where my husband and I grow together, toward Christ, rather than apart. I’m looking forward to the longer days, filled with more light. Days spent outside with our children, forming new bonds based on shared experiences.

This will be my first summer as a mom without a full-time job. This summer will be a season filled with many firsts. The long summer days that bleed into the warm summer nights will afford my family opportunities to create new memories.

Memories of seasons with life-lessons and love set to the tune of the cicadas in the trees and the smell of burgers on the grill and s’mores over an open fire.

Recently, a dear friend explained seasons of life and God’s priorities to me in this way: an idea, action or priority can’t be judged by one season our your lives. The essence of who we are can only be measured at the end when all the seasons are up.

If we give up when it’s winter, we will miss the promise of our spring, the beauty of our summer, and the fulfillment of our fall. We can’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy and pleasure of the remaining seasons. We can’t judge life by one strenuous success or formidable failure.

We must always persevere through the difficult times and know that pleasant times are coming. Leave the rest to our Creator and He will show us our priorities if we seek Him through His word and prayers.

His Word

How Do You Endure Testing?

James 1:12 NLT – God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Just the other day, while waiting in the school pick-up line, I observed the trees around me. The day was filled with a blustery wind; the kind of wind that makes you feel like you truly could be the nannies in “Mary Poppins” and be blown away.

Listening to the wind whipping through the trees and seeing them bend and sway, my thoughts drifted to this verse.

I watched the smaller trees bend and twist with the force of the wind. In contrast, the larger trees moved much less in the force of the wind. Their roots were deeper and their branches larger, which enabled them to withstand the strong gusts of wind.

These trees provided a good illustration for this verse found in James. If we can patiently endure the trials and testing and temptation, then God is faithful and we will receive the crown of life He has promised.

The mature trees have been able to stand the test of time against the battering winds, the torrential rains, the heavy snow, the brutal winters, and the scorching summers.

We need to constantly be growing and maturing in His word in order to endure testing and temptation. First Corinthians 10:13 tells us, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

When we are tempted, when we are tested and when trials come our way, we must remember that our God is faithful. We will only be tempted as much as we can stand and He will always provide a way out of it. We just have to lean into Him. We just need to rely on the promises found in His word. We need to be firmly rooted in Him so that we can be found faithful in our testing and temptation.

Lord, let us always have our roots in You and let us always look toward the Heavens to endure the testing that comes our way, Amen.

His Word, Kids/Parenting, Soul Relationships

Hard Lessons Learned

Happy Wednesday dear friends.

After driving for 22 years (you can do the math on my age), I can proudly say that I’ve never locked my keys in my car.

Until this morning.

I went into the kids’ school to talk party stuff. Tomorrow is the big Valentine’s Day class party. I chatted with a few other teachers and was headed out the door.

Until I heard my daughter crying out to me from the front door of the school. I was *almost* to my van. She informed me that she needed money for the book fair today.

So, I did what every good parent does. I grumbled under my breath the rest of the way to my van, got my wallet, and grumbled the whole way into the school. Once there, I discovered that I had a five-dollar bill and a ten-dollar bill. No way this could be split equitably between two kids.

I stopped in the office, knowing they must be tired of seeing me already this morning, to ask if they had change. No such luck. My next stop was the book fair. I mean, after all, wasn’t the blasted book fair the whole reason I had to make a second trip into the school this morning? The least it could do for me is give me change for a ten-dollar bill, so I could split it evenly.

The volunteer working the book fair so kindly gave me 2 five-dollar bills and as I was leaving, two mothers from my daughter’s class asked what they could send in for the party tomorrow. Being so grateful for their donations, I shared with them what we still needed and continued on my way.

I made what I thought was my final stop in the school office, so they could deliver money to my children for the book fair. YAY!

As I’m just getting ready to walk out the door, I realize I don’t have my keys. Trying to play it cool to the ladies in the office, I’m all like, ‘oh gosh, I’m sure they’re in the van.’

I leave the office and walk out to my van. The walk, which normally takes 2 minutes tops, felt like an eternity. I was thinking to myself the whole way that I NEVER leave my keys in my van. Nor do I ever leave my van unlocked.

You’re a smart bunch of people, you’re my friends, after all. You know where this is going, right?

I get to my van, look in the window, and see that sure enough, my keys are in the van. In a split second, I look down and notice that the door is locked.


AWESOMESAUCE! I’m so loving my luck right now! I only had about a gazillion things on my mind for what I needed to accomplish the rest of this week.

See, my husband and I have been having some *ahem* difficulties with one of our children. I will NOT name names, but suffice to say, said child has had a little bit of an attitude lately. So, I’ve been thinking about ways we could improve things with said child.

We also have a legal situation with another child that is looming over us. I know that God already has that situation worked out for His glory, but hey, I’m human, right? And I can freak out and worry and stress with the best of them.

Also on my ‘list of worries’ is previously mentioned Valentine’s Day class party that I promised and swore to myself that I wouldn’t wait until the last. minute. to plan…but, well you know how that turned out.

Then of course, are everyone’s every day worries and concerns.




Weight. (I’m a woman, remember?)


All of these concerns and issues came together in a perfect storm to cause me to lock my keys (and my phone) in my van today.

When I realized what I had done, I called my husband from the school. I knew the odds of him answering the phone call were slim, for two reasons. First, it was an unrecognized number. Second, he was at work and I rarely catch him the first time I try to call. Typically, he sees my call and calls me back. I had to get my daughter’s iPod from her class to text him and ask him to answer my call.

He called a local tow company and they said they would be out as soon as they can. Y’all know what that means…

After waiting for over two hours, and many more trips to the office (I’m CERTAIN the lovely ladies in the office were really ready for me to go), they finally showed up to unlock my van. During this two hours, I endured multiple well-meaning individuals sharing with me how I might be able to avoid this fate in the future.

Also while waiting, not so patiently, for my rescuer to come, I did some thinking. I thought about how, when we are in the waiting rooms of life, we typically don’t wait patiently. Most of the time, we are trying to figure out how we can get out of our current situation as soon as possible, with the least amount of pain.

As I was waiting, it occurred to me that God might just want us to chill for a while…or two hours…

We might need to learn something in that waiting room.

Perhaps He is keeping us from something worse.

Perhaps He is keeping us from something better, simply because we’re not ready.

Perhaps He has us there because we are going to encounter someone else in that same waiting room and we can positively impact their life. Or vice versa. Maybe we need someone to be a positive influence in our life.

My point here is that, if I had my books or my laptop (or even my phone) with me when I locked myself out of my van, it wouldn’t have accomplished the same mission.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with reading or, in my case, writing, to pass the time, it would have distracted me from the lesson God wanted me to learn. The hard lesson learned.

That patience is a virtue. And one that doesn’t come easily or without cost. (To the tune of $68, as a matter of fact.)

One further point I would like to make is from a book I recently started reading called Your Sacred Yes by Susie Larson. The subtitle to her book is ‘Trading Life-Draining Obligation for Freedom, Passion, and Joy.’ You can assume that this book was written to help free us from saying YES to everything that comes our way. Instead, we should select only those activities that He has called us to.

In her introduction, she says this, “Life is a gift. Time is a treasured commodity. When we open our hands and give what we have to Jesus–be it our moments, our gifts, our time, or simply room and space for Him to show up–we find life to be a sacred journey.”

This spoke volumes to me. When was the last time you had whitespace in your schedule? Whether it was for a lesson learned the hard way or whether it was to sit with your grandmother helping her figure out her phone–without having to rush to the next thing?

Either way, we all need to determine what our sacred YES is, so that we can truly be open to the nudgings of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

His Word, Kids/Parenting, Series


This post is one that I’m republishing. It was originally published on April 11, 2014.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about my daughter painting and how I was simply exasperated when she got the set of brushes in the paint…it wasn’t because she was intentionally trying to make a mess, it was because she was just so excited at the brushes I had found.

Last week, I wrote about a sunrise – a true gift from God that day. I wrote about how the colors appeared as though the artist had carelessly just streaked his brush across the sky. When we know that THE artist is anything BUT careless.

I guess what I’m learning from these ‘paint’ scenarios is that not everything in life is going to be ‘perfect.’ And besides, who says that what I think is ‘perfect’ is actually perfect? If I’m not perfect – and I’m not – then how could I have even a remote sense of what perfect it?

When someone sits down to paint, or draw, or be creative and expressive in any way (by the way, I believe writing falls into this category), then there is no right or wrong. There is no perfect. There is no black and white. There are only shades of grey, and colors that blend and bleed, and words that may not fit ‘just so.’

So, from here on out, I’m going to take a step back and just be…be content for things as they are, without worrying that they’re not perfect. Because I’m not. So, how could I expect for things (and people) around me to be perfect?

His Word, Kids/Parenting, Series

Change & Grace

This post is another oldie…but goodie. It was originally published on October 14, 2013

How much can one person really change? I feel I can say that I’ve really changed; but am I willing to extend that same grace to others? To see evidence of change in their lives? To really SEARCH for the confirmation that I’m seeking that change has occurred?

Yesterday, God gave me the opportunity to really test my ability to extend grace. And to believe in His ability to change people, without there being any real proof that He is in their lives. But just to have FAITH.

Grace is the Biggest Kind of Brave

As I woke this morning to read my devotions, I read yesterday’s devotion in my ‘Putting Your Faith into Action Today’ book by Dr. Robert H. Schuller. Its entry read like this:


Respecting persons after you know them.

“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”  ~1 Peter 2:17

Today the challenge you and I have is to respect the people with whom we live, work, and closely relate. Can we respect them after we’ve seen them at their worst? The answer must be a resounding YES.

How can our faith perform this miracle? Quite simply. Our faith reminds us that we too are imperfect human beings.

Our faith reminds us that God loves us even though He knows us better than anybody else! And if God loves us in spite of what we are, He will give us the grace to pass that charitable spirit along!

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) tells us, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” As I re-read and study this verse, something pops out at me. You can interpret this to read like this, “Now, faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” With this interpretation, you would expect the reader to pause after ‘now,’ as though the author is saying, “Ok understand that, faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

However, there is no comma in the scripture verse. Which then leads me to view it a little differently. The way I choose to interpret this verse is that the author is saying ‘NOW faith.’ Meaning, not the faith you had yesterday. Or the faith you’ll have tomorrow. But rather the faith you have NOW. So, I believe the scripture author is really calling you on the carpet to prove your faith. Your ‘NOW’ faith. Forget the faith you had yesterday. Pay no mind to the faith you hope to have tomorrow. What is your faith RIGHT NOW telling you to do?

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV) tells us, “For we live by faith, not by sight.” The King James Version uses ‘walk’ rather than ‘live,’ to read, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Despite the fact that I memorized this verse in the KJV, I prefer the NIV version, as ‘live’ indicates to me that it is a daily, moment-by-moment, decision to LIVE my life out in faith.

This verse challenges me, because it goes against everything that is in my gut. My gut tells me that ‘the proof is in the pudding’ and that I need to SEE evidence of change in this individual, before I can trust and respect them. However, that is not what God calls me to do. He calls me to live in faith that the change has occurred. That He has gotten ahold of this individual and ‘knocked some sense’ into them. It’s not my job to look for that. It’s not my responsibility to hold this person accountable. My only responsibility is to Him; to LIVE by faith…my NOW faith…and to remember that, I too, am an imperfect being. I’m called to love and respect despite the fact that I saw this person at their worst. Because that’s what He did and is doing for me. And you.