Category archives: Prayer

When You're Having a Bad Day (And You Want to Have a Good One)

Sometimes you might wake up to a bad day. Well, it might be a good day outside. There might be light everywhere and flowers bloomin' and birds singin', but there on your insides, everything feels overwhelming. And it might not be your fault entirely. It might have even started the night before when things didn't go as you had hoped or planned. And so you went to bed not quite at peace with God and the world and you woke up with some internal struggles right from the get-go. Yep, the sunlight could be streaming in that window and you might feel like a train wreck before the cereal is even poured. The world does its own thing, and you can't change what's going on around you, but there are some things that you can do to help your insides. To get your day back on track. For on[...]

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[...]

God Still Speaks

There’s this old, old story about a bush that once caught on fire, and burned, a crimson blaze but it didn’t burn up. (Exodus 3) And as the flames crackled and sparked, that bush caught someone’s attention. And so this curious shepherd, who was just minding his own business, taking care of his sheep out in the rocky desert, went over to check out the amazing sight. And when he came close, he heard a voice. God Himself was calling that raggedy old shepherd, right out of that blazing bush! Moses! Moses! God hollered out. And a baffled Moses replied, “Yes? I’m right here!” And then the Maker of that bush, who chose to show up like a blazing fire just kept on talking, “Don’t get too close. Take your shoes off. You’re standing on holy ground.” I have this burning bush and c[...]

When Bullies Come to Church (And Why We Should Keep On Praying)

About a year and a half ago, a bully came to church. Now, he was small. Like maybe three, but he was in Gideon’s Sunday school class and he was mean. Gideon has recounted the day, in vivid details, many times for me. “Momma, his eyes looked like this,” (glares eyes) “and his face looked like this,” (squints eyes and shows teeth) “and he sat on top of me and I couldn’t get up.” “He just kept getting me. I didn’t have time to ask for help.” “He didn't get my cupcake, though. I don't know why he didn't try to get my cupcake. But, I'm glad he didn’t eat my cupcake.” And even though that bully only came to church, like once, from that moment on, Gideon wouldn’t set foot in another Sunday school class. Pretty much he wouldn’t go anywhere without us. And there was no speaking log[...]

On Early Morning Walks and Spider Webs and Being a Momma

I set out for a walk in the morning, while the kids and Brent still sleep. I’m not used to this—taking walks in the morning, but on this particular morning, I decide to be a little crazy. Switch things up a bit and try something new. More often than not, I sleep right up until Brent is smooching my forehead goodbye and one of the kids is crawling into bed with me, letting me know it’s time for some chocky milk and breakfast. But, on this particular morning, I actually do what I wish I would always  do. I get up early enough to enjoy a cup of coffee while spending time with Jesus. He calls Himself the Word and He teaches that we humans weren’t created to function on bread alone. Our life fuel shouldn’t only consist of coffee and toast and the physical kind of stuff. Because we’re mor[...]

Why God Hides Himself and How to Change the World

I wake up early in the morning to feed Samuel. And when he's done nursing and tucked back into his little bed, I have this internal debate. I could sleep some more, which always sounds appealing, or I could go ahead and stumble to the coffee pot and sit and read my Bible and go hunting for God. I really want to sleep, of course, but there's this promise God makes. He says that when we go looking and searching and hunting for Him, hungry to find Him, that He'll be found.  (Jeremiah 29:13) You might wonder why I speak of God in this way. As if He hides Himself and yet wants to be found. The prophet Isaiah wrote about God like this when he exclaimed, "Truly, you are a God who hides himself." (Isaiah 45:15) And Dallas Willard, my favorite philosopher explains: And why would God hide hims[...]

On Making Your Life a Prayer

Jesus tells us to pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) And His followers wonder how in the world we’re supposed to do that. Doesn’t God know we have things to do? We’ve got meals to make and laundry to fold and a job to hold down and a family to tend to and friends to keep. Nobody has time to tuck themselves away quietly in a corner all day and talk to God. Well, maybe monks do, but most of us aren’t monks. So, what did Jesus actually mean when He said that? I’m reminded of the story in the New Testament when Jesus went to visit the Temple. Now, I’m no scholar and I haven’t spent hours studying the Temple a whole lot, but I just know the Temple was an important place because it was where people were supposed to meet with God. It was where they were supposed to talk to Him and[...]

How I'm Teaching My Children to Pray

Around here, in this crazy chaotic house of mine, I’m teaching my children to pray. Now, you might be thinking that I mean I’m teaching them how to sit still and fold their hands and bow their heads and close their eyes. We do that occasionally, but not always. Sometimes we yell our prayers, really loud. With our eyes wide open. Like, a couple months ago, when our little friend had to go to the hospital because he was having seizures. Gideon, Hope and I sat in the living room floor and clasped each other’s hands and we yelled for God to please help our friend. We didn’t yell because we thought God was too far away and couldn’t hear. Or because we thought maybe He had gotten old and needed us to speak up. We yelled because we were desperate. Desperate people yell sometimes. And th[...]

If You Get Lost in Your Day

Do you ever get lost in your day? If you happen to be in the same season of life as I am, you might find yourself standing a little bewildered in the middle of your kitchen, as your five year old and nearly four year old are on their hands and knees on the linoleum, simultaneously wailing at the top of their lungs because of the wretched disappointment in which their lives have turned out. You know, because your boy doesn’t like the toast with “nuts” in it and your girl seriously needs her chocky milk “warmed up.” All the while, your eight month old is pulling all the cook-books off the shelf for the umpteenth time. A momma can feel so lost before 10 a.m. And if you’re not careful, everything will ream out of control from there and you’ll only get more lost-er. (No, that’s not a [...]

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