Category archives: Courage

How to Navigate through a Hard World, or a Hurting Day

It's hard to know how to navigate through a world pocked full of hurts and fears. There is so much light and goodness here, but it isn't long, as we stumble through the day, before we rub up against the edges of sharp pain or press through a curtain of what feels like such thick darkness. We read the news. We get a startling phone call from a friend. Someone close to us deeply disappoints or is diagnosed. We despair. Meanwhile God dares to be alive and close by in a world that clambers with terrible situations. But, sometimes it's hard to see Him. It's hard to find Him. We grope around in the dark. We reach out for His hand. We call out His Name. And then we have to practice our faith. Child-like belief that a good God really is here. Emmanuel. With us. SomeOne really is r[...]

How God Aims to Help the World

The other night, Brent and I got to go on a date, since the kiddos where happily spending the night at "Grandma and Grandpa's house." By the way,  I'm so thankful for parents who really do love and enjoy spending time with their grandkids. I heard some parents prefer their own quiet, busy lives. I'm so glad ours don't.Anyways, as we sat there at the restaurant, and got to know the waitress in between her bringing us heaping warm plates of food and refilling our drinks, I couldn't help but love her and want to know her story. So, I asked her questions and she told me bits and pieces in spurts. Then, when Brent got up to go to the restroom, I asked her if there was anything I could pray for her about, because Jesus lives inside me and I could feel Him loving her and I wanted her to know[...]

When You're Just Plumb Scared and Want to Feel Safe

Some days, fear has this grip on me. Anxiety and worry take its toll and I find it hard to breathe. I can feel it in my skin, literally. Every once in a while, I get the shingles. Shingles isn’t just for old folks, apparently. Shingles can happen to worry warts, too. But, I’m a child of God. A little girl who belongs to a Great King. A Great King who never worries about a thing because He’s the biggest and the strongest. And I’ve got these promises. “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deut. 33:27) “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble…The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” (Psalm 46:1,7)So, I run to my Refuge and I hide in my Strong Tower and I just sit still and remember what I’ve got in Him. I[...]

What You Were Made For

Little heart, didn't you know? You were made to be brave. You were fashioned to fling off the fear and shed the doubt and catapult over all the angst. But you must keep your eyes on the Valiant One. Yes, all eyes to the King! Him who makes the fraidy-cats into lion-hearts. And little countenance, didn't you know you were made to shine? You are here to be light, to bring out the vibrant colors in the shadow lands. But, you must turn your face to the Brilliance. Him all ablaze and robed in light. He who splits the dark and swallows up the night. On Him keep your gaze. Bask in the sunlight of His face and so shine.  "The Eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deut. 33:27)"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen yo[...]

What I Do When I'm Afraid of Life

Sometimes I get afraid of life. I can't explain all the reasons why, but I just kinda go through these spurts or seasons when I'm more prone to be fearful of things and my heart feels fragile and I have a hard time roping my imagination in.And it's strange because it's something that happens on the inside of me and I'm finding that it has nothing to do with what's going on, on the outside of me. Like, today for instance. Today is the most lovely, breezy, warm, full-of-light kind of day. And there's nothing in my life to be afraid of. At least nothing that I can see. But, for whatever reason, I have a lot of what-ifs running through my head, and before I know it, I'm plumb sceered! Scared of the world. Scared for my kids. Scared of what could happen in my life. Just scared. And I don't like[...]

The Unfurling

Miracles still happen. But they often happen in the dark unexpected places, the places where no one's really looking. They're quietly happening. Because you pray and you hope and you wait, seems like forever you wait, and you don't see anything good or glamorous, yet.  But you planted those seeds with your prayers and you watered them with your tears and sometime when you weren't paying attention, things were growing. Slowly, slowly growing. Sometime in the quiet of night, when the moon waxed full there was this breaking. You couldn't hear the sound of it because you were resting. Yes, and with that tiny speck of faith left, you had found sleep and you were clinging to that one promise and in His heart you were trusting. And all along God was working. He was working and you were unawa[...]

When the Earth is Your Shoe and Every New Step is an Adventure

I wish you could hear the birds outside my window just now. It's early, early morning and they're going crazy out there. God must have put something in them that feels this need to herald in the morning. It sounds like this loud, jubilant procession. It's like they're shouting, "Here comes the sun! Here comes the day! It's heeeeeere! It's heeeeeere!" Birds are very excited about new days apparently. I like that about them.Speaking of new days, I'm embarking on a new day myself and a new year of life. Just celebrated a birthday. In the words of Elvis, "Thank you, thank you, thank you very much." But seriously, I'm thankful for all the people that celebrated loud like the birds, heralding in all the new with me.It's really exciting to embark on a new year. I recently read about this guy who [...]

Letters from Prison

Last weekend, Brent and I had the chance to get-away for the night, so we went up to Wheaton, IL to see a group of our favorite artists perform.  While we were there, we stopped in an old bookstore, owned by a sweet couple that we admire, and we browsed through their old, old books.I don't care how sophisticated and high-tech our society becomes, there's just no replacing old, old books. I wanted to buy something as a kind gesture, and though I'm a lover of old books, I'm not really a collector, so I happily picked this one--a book by one of my heroes in this life--Corrie ten Boom.Are you familiar with her? Oh, please, let me introduce you to her. She's a woman who changed the world--ever so courageously, in profound and quiet ways.During the last world war, as the brutal German army [...]

Living With the Walls Down

Blogs are funny things. They don't exactly portray life the way it really is. I mean, usually they don't. Because blogs are full of pretty pictures and fun adventures and things like that and we're not likely to post the ugly stuff. We don't like to put pictures of our messes up for the world to see. We'd rather just record the smiles or the nifty crafts and we don't much talk about the yelling part, or the wrestling part, or the part that's real and still hurts. But, those parts are important, too. And maybe they're even more important because we all need to know that we're not alone in our struggles. And there's just so much strength in knowing you're not alone. So, it's important--this kind of living with the walls down. It's a brave sort of living, a risky sort of living, but it's the [...]

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