Category archives: Courage

When You're Not Sure You Wanna Get Out of Bed

God has these adventures for us. I'm increasingly convinced of this. I've been going back to that one Scripture a lot. The one that says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10) I haven't always believed this verse. We are like that, as Christians. Teetering between belief and unbelief. Sometimes we say we live a life of faith, but we are such practical atheists. We don't mean to be, of course. And we wouldn't tell anyone that. Too loudly. When I was in my early twenties, and single, and working at a tooth factory, (it was a dental lab, but I like to call it a tooth factory because it's funner to say,) I went through this deep depression. I'd go home from work and s[...]

Thoughts on living with guilt and regrets

I remember a job interview once, where I was asked if I had any regrets. I thought that was a funny question. (Maybe they were trying to determine if I had a conscience or not? Ha!) Like, what did they expect me to say? "Yeah, there was the time I tortured this slug with a cup of salt. Gosh. I've never been able to forgive myself." Anyways. I did have regrets and I told them some of them. They smiled and hired me anyways. I guess I didn't come across too far gone. But, I've been thinking lately, about how we really are supposed to process all of that---the stupid things we've done in the past. All the guilt and regret. What do we do with it? And specifically, what do we do with it in light of what Jesus has done for us? Because the thing is, we've all [...]

When You're Down in A Deep Dark Hole and You Can't Get Out

I met this girl the other day. She'd recently gone through an intense amount of trauma. You could see it in her eyes still. The "I'm terrified but I'm trying real hard to be brave and show up anyways" look. She told me bits and pieces of her story and we prayed. Two strangers, trying to make sense of life and faith and doubt and the hard parts of being human. She told me that for a while there, she hid, down in a deep hole and she couldn't get out. Literally, the trauma had so affected her body, that there were days when she couldn't get out of her bed. But, Jesus came and He was helping. Little by little by little. Helping. Some of us didn't know that Jesus was like this. That He would come looking for us while we're hunkered down, in our hidey holes. We thought that no o[...]

Dear Artist

Dear Artist, (Or Photographer, or Writer, or Musician, or Creative Maker of any sort of things,) You know that feeling you get, when you sit down to shape something new, and you feel stuck because you're pretty sure nothing you create is any good? It's that paralyzing feeling. That angst that makes you second guess yourself and so you figure you'll just go ahead and put away the camera, like for good. And shut down the lap-top from here on out and never scratch out another word or dry out the paint brushes and never pick them up again. But, something in you just won't let you quit. Because you know, if you don't create and if you don't sometimes share what you make, then you'll sort of wither away, little by little, there on your insides. That part of you that come[...]

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[...]

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