Category archives: Hope

When it's hard to get out of bed each day

A friend asked me recently, who is going through a lot of hard things, "How do you keep waking up everyday and getting out of bed?" Through no fault of her own, she's just sort of stuck in the "life is hard and then you die" mentality. I've been there. So, I offered her some encouragement, though I didn't feel worthy to offer it. Sometimes I think that we feel as if we have to suffer the most excruciating things before we can extend to someone else any kind of hope. But, we all have places where we've suffered and if God gets us through that, it's not just for us. It's for others, too. So, just in case you woke up today and needed to hear this, I'm sharing these things for you, too.……… Thing to remember #1: It won't always be this painfully hard. Listen. This is the[...]

For the people with the trauma childhoods

My loves, There will be people in your life, with issues. With deep-seated issues and their conflict within themselves will spill over on you and seep into your skin and profoundly affect you. Is it not your fault. It is not even about you. I work with people all the time who have jacked up childhoods. Trauma is not only the bad scary things that happened to you. Trauma is what should have happened, but didn't. You should have been protected. But weren't.You should have been nurtured. But weren't.You should have been valued.You should have been listened to.But, it didn't happen because there were people in your life with issues. If you feel a little screwed up today, you have some work to do, but you don't have to carry the burden of believing there was always somet[...]

Why We Can Pray (And Then Rest)

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. Little heart, didn’t you know? Haven’t you heard that there’s a glorious Kingdom full of light? And love? And vibrant life? It comes slow and quiet like a dawning. It’s a strange paradox, this Kingdom. The here already and not fully realized yet. Sometime in the quiet of night, when the moon waxed full there was this breaking. You coul[...]

Dear Tired, Wandering Heart

Dear tired, wandering heart, Jesus is your Refuge. When you wake up in the night, with the weight of the world on your chest, you can make your way to Him. He's not too far. When you've sinned, again, and your heart condemns you, you can make your way to Jesus. He isn't crossing His arms and scowling at you. He's waiting for you to come running. When you're confused about some things, and you need answers or direction, you can make your way to Jesus. In Him, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge can be found. Whatever your day demands of you, Jesus is your Strength. When your knees are wobbly, He'll help you to stand. Whatever troubles are just up ahead, Jesus is already there. Remember how He got you through those last turbulent waters and He kept you from sinkin[...]

When You Desperately Want to Help the World

Today I went to Lowe's, to the garden section, to see which plants are on sale. Green growing things are like medicine for me, so at the end of the season, when stuff is cheap, I stock up. As I was pulling into the parking lot, I saw this lady on the side of the road in a wheelchair. She had a cast and a pitifully sad face and she was holding a sign that said she needed food and money. As I drove by and looked into her eyes, she stared back into mine and this skeptical part of me emerged. "How do I know you're for real?" I thought. So, I drove on up to Lowe's, but I couldn't stop thinking about her. I kept asking God what I should do or what she needed, but He wasn't exactly talking back loud enough for me to hear, so I just didn't do anything. Even if she was just fine, thou[...]

When You Struggle With Depression: 10 Tools to Fight For Joy

When I was in my early to mid-twenties, I went through a pretty deep depression. Probably on the outside, I looked fine. Happy mostly. I showed up at work every day. Played pranks on people. Cracked jokes. Tried to maintain a kind and cheerful disposition. But, those closest to me could tell something was wrong. I came home every day and slept. For hours. My weekends were pretty mundane and uneventful. I plodded along through a lot of dark days. Looking back, I can now see several contributing factors to my melancholy outlook on life, but mostly I think I was just deeply disappointed. Disappointed in the way things had turned out. And to be honest, when I looked ahead toward the future, it didn’t carry any hope. Now, I know I was only in my twenties, but I had already settled in [...]

A Plan for a Troubled Heart

Dear little troubled heart, It's okay. I know you've been a wreck lately and you've sort of lost your way, but I wanted you to know that you don't have to stay here, in this anxious place. You see, your Maker is close by. He's close at hand, even closer than you think and He hears you when you pray. So, come on over. Be still, for just a minute, because I've got a plan. A plan to set you free again, and to make your soul secure, in God's good grace. But, it'll take some work. A fair amount of intention on your part. I know you're ready. So, first, just confess. Talk to Jesus and just tell Him the ways that you've spun out of control. Maybe it's pride. Or fear. Or getting all wrapped up in yourself that you couldn't even see you were all wrapped up in yourself. Maybe it wasn't [...]

Why God Doesn't Mind Your Messy Prayers

The other day I found one of my old journals in a box in the garage. So, I took it upstairs and sat on the floor while my kids played and I read through it.  I had written in that journal while I was in college. A time when I thought I was gonna marry a man who I never actually ended up marrying. And when I was scared of Y2K. (Yep, remember that?) And when the cafeteria playing rock music at lunch pretty much wrecked my day. (Yeah, I know. I was a little up tight.) It was interesting and a little entertaining to read the thoughts I used to think and the fears I used to have. In some ways, I was encouraged. Because I could see how I'd overcome certain mindsets that were damaging to me and others. In another way, I was annoyed with myself, because it didn't seem like I'd made all t[...]

A Light Brightly Shining (For the Darker Days)

Some days are darker than others. Today the sky skuds up with clouds and while I'm thankful for the rain, I wrestle with angst. Because on my insides, in here in my heart, I resonate with the sky--an endless stretch of gray and a little foreboding, too. Headlines can do that to you. I've read plenty of heart-break this week and honestly, I don't know how to live between the lines. Those lines that hem us in on all sides here--all the joy on the one hand, running right alongside all the pain. So, I sweep up yesterday's grime off the kitchen floor and I cry a little. And then I glance over at my kids with their eyes brimming, an eager exhilaration, and I listen as they tell me what they want to learn this school year. Gideon, he wants to find out how trains work, and jet planes and rac[...]

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