May We SEE Your “Winks”

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.'” 2 Chronicles 20:17

Have you ever noticed that the enemy likes to aim his arrows at your weakest point? He is not stupid, and he knows where we struggle most. We all have that one area (sometimes several) that we constantly fight God for control over. Maybe it’s anxiety, fear, finances, marriage problems, parenting concerns, job stress, jealousy, bitterness, or any number of other issues. We try to give it to God, but then take it right back out of His capable Hands.

I certainly have my fair share of weak points and earlier this week satan began firing his arrows fast and furiously at those vulnerable places. I became instantly defeated and weary. “God, not this same battle again!” I cried in my heart “I can’t do this. I just want to give up.”

It is amazing to me how I can go from a spiritual mountaintop to the deepest valley in the blink of an eye. I guess standing on a mountaintop with your arms raised in worship makes you an easy target. I certainly felt like an easy target earlier this week, as my thoughts turned to what was wrong and away from the One who is Right.

Yesterday, I woke up still feeling defeated and asked God to show me a glimpse of Him. I was meeting with a sweet friend early in the morning. We meet occasionally to encourage each other in our different writing projects. We sat down and laughed at the fact that neither one of us really knew what we would talk about that day. We didn’t have a plan, but God certainly did.

I had not told my friend about my inner struggle and weariness, we just started talking about a writing conference we are soon to attend and read each other’s latest writings. We spent two sweet hours together and then she started to leave. As she was leaving, she looked at me and spoke the sweetest kindest words to my heart. She encouraged me not to get overwhelmed with temporary fleeting things, but to keep my eyes fixed on eternity and the God who is forever. I wanted to stand there like a fish with my mouth hung open. How did she know? Did she know my inner battle? But then in that moment, I knew she was speaking God’s words to me. It was as if God gave me a “wink.”

A wink can express such depth of emotion. When my husband winks at me across a room, I know that wink is just for me. It conveys love and affection and sometimes an inside joke. When I wink at my kids as they are taking the stage in a recital or giving a presentation, I am telling them (through the wink) that I know they can do it and that I am cheering for them. A wink is an expression of caring and support.

I felt like God winked at me yesterday through my friend’s words. He reminded me that struggles on this earth are temporary, and have already been defeated on the cross. While I may still have daily battles to fight, He has already won the war! I can give my fears and frustrations to Him, and in return He will give me contentment. After all, this world is not my permanent home. As long as I keep an eternal perspective the arrows seem to lose their effectiveness.

Satan is still trying to fire those arrows today, but today I have surrendered; although not to him. I have surrendered to God. I have waved my white flag and asked Him to fight the battle. I am hiding behind my Shield, tucked safely in “His righteous wing.” It feels much better here, and I can raise my hands in worship, not fearing being an easy target because God is all around me.

“Lord, thank You for fighting our battles and thank You for providing reminders of Your love. Thank You for Your “winks” and may we SEE those winks when You give them. Help us to become those “winks” for others by being open to speak Your truth to others today. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

May We SEE You as our Power Supply

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus”. Philippians 4:19


“Mom, I only have 22%!!! I’ll never make it! What am I going to do???”

My son had forgotten to charge his school ipad the night before. He has been amazingly responsible with charging it each night, but on this particular night he simply forgot. In a typical day he comes home with 35% battery power left. Obviously, starting with 22% was not going to cut it. He plugged it in that morning, but we had to leave the house in 25 minutes and it would never charge that fast.

We got in the car and he had 41% battery life. “Mom, what am I gonna do if it runs out? How will I get everything done? Will I get in trouble?” My boy was bordering on full blown panic. “Sweetie, all we can do is pray and ask God to help you get through today. We can ask Him to let 41% be enough and He could do that, but if He doesn’t, He will still get you through the day.” My son, looked less than thrilled with my advice, but resigned to the situation, we prayed.

As I drove away from the school, I tried to prepare myself for the Bible study I was going to. I started going over the lesson in my head, and praying for the morning, but I could not stop thinking about my son. Worry crept into my heart and “helicopter mom” started to make her voice known. “Should I email the teachers? Should I take him the external charger thing my dad gave us? Should I pick him up early?” Thankfully, the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit made itself heard over my anxious thoughts; “pray and trust” is what that voice said. “But God, it’s an ipad…can I pray about an ipad?” In light of the crazy big problems going on in this world, I felt somewhat ashamed praying for an ipad. “Pray.” I felt the word again in my heart.

“OK Lord. I am so embarrassed to pray this prayer right now. Christians are facing persecution and death today, terrorists are engaging in acts of pure evil, families are saying goodbye to loved ones. There are people who need You in such huge ways today, and I am sorry to ask you this, but could you provide my son with enough battery power to get him through the day. Will you power his ipad and let him SEE You in this day? God, I trust that you can, but even if You don’t, please give him the strength and courage he will need to endure the day. Thank You for listening to my prayer and for caring about what concerns each of your children.”

My heart was suddenly and completely at peace. God had replaced my anxiety with the peace only He can give. I went about my day, had a sweet morning of Bible study and went that afternoon to pick up the kids from school. As soon as I saw my son, I asked him how the ipad did. He looked at me and smiled a triumphant smile, “I still have 35% left! I used it all day, but I only used 6% of my battery! I guess God answered that prayer!”

I was dumbfounded. I mean, I knew God could but I wasn’t sure He would. I was so thankful to my God who simultaneously cares for the hurt, the sick and the dying, and boys who forgot to charge their ipad for school. What an awesome and personal God we serve. My son got to SEE God in a huge way that day, and God set the stage for me to SEE Him in an even bigger way days later.

Two days later, I sat at the table trying to focus on my quiet time. I was exhausted, had a lesson to finish writing, another to start, volunteering commitments at school, a kitchen to clean, several errands to run, and to make matters more fun my allergies were in overdrive because of pollen. “God, it is 8:00 in the morning and I feel spent. There is no way I can do all that I have to do today. I am tired and sick and just want to crawl back in bed. How am I going to accomplish all that is set before me? Lord, I feel like I didn’t get charged last night.”

That’s when I remembered! “Wait! Lord, you kept my boy’s ipad running all day even though it was only at 41%. Would you help me run all day even though I feel depleted already? God, I can only do this if You supply the power and strength I need. Here is my to-do list. Please, enable me to complete it in Your power and strength.”

Ok, here’s the amazing part: He did! I got more done that day than I have ever done before. He filled me with Himself in such an amazing way. Not only did I get done everything on my to-do list, but because He is the God who “fills my cup to overflowing” I got extra things done. God provided the circumstances for me to get two things done that day that I had been putting off for weeks. I felt energized and strengthened. He made my 41% enough that day. I couldn’t wait to share the news with my son. I thanked him for providing the circumstances which led to me getting to SEE God as my power supply.

I know there will be days when I am just worn out or sick and not be able to complete the items on my list, but I have also learned that I can trust God to provide for my every need; whether by giving me the energy I need or by providing the rest I need.

He has shown me that He cares for each one of us personally. He knows our hurts, our fears, our dreams. He will provide rest when we need it and energy to accomplish what He sets before us. I don’t have to fear not being enough, or having enough, because My God is all I need.

May you SEE Him as your power supply today and trust Him to provide exactly what you need when you need it.

May We Help Others SEE You


“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved”

This weekend brought warm temperatures which beckoned all of us out of the house. We each found projects to work on outside, even my 7 year old daughter. She asked her daddy for two pieces of wood, a hammer, and a nail. She then quietly went to work making a sign. I did not think much about it as I soaked in the warm rays of the sun while picking up branches and pinecones. After 30 minutes or so, my daughter asked me for the “big giant hammer with the black rubber end thingy” aka the mallet. I gave it to her and she skipped off happily. After another several minutes, she called me to see what she had made. She proudly displayed the sign in the picture above. She looked up at me with that “can you believe I actually made this!” look on her face, and waited for my response. I must have hesitated a moment too long, because she said, “mommy, now people will know where to go to get in our house” (duh!!! was hidden in those words).

I must confess, that I never thought our front door was that hard to find: we have a path leading to it, it is in the normal spot on the front middle of the house, there are steps leading to it, but you know, maybe that’s just me 🙂

“Baby, wow! What a great sign!” I quickly added, “um, don’t you want to put it by your tree house though?” (not that I was at all bothered by a random front door sign in our flower bed or anything)

“But I don’t have a front door in my tree house. I don’t even have any walls. Why would I put this there?” was the bewildered reply I received.

“I made it to help people find their way in. Can I please leave it here?”

Suddenly, I no longer saw a random “front door this way sign.” Instead, I saw a truth that I far too often ignore: people need to know how to find truth; and it isn’t always obvious to them.

Having grown up in church, attended a Christian school, and been a part of a Gospel focused family, I can far too easily assume that everyone knows how to find true life; how to find Jesus. I assume that the “front door” is obvious, but to many, it isn’t, they need a sign.

Maybe the sign they need is in the form of a question like: “Do you go to church anywhere?” or “Where do you find comfort during hard times?”

Maybe the sign they need is in the form of a gesture: taking food to some who is sick and telling the person you are praying for them; giving a Bible to someone and spending time reading it together; hosting an Gospel focused Easter egg hunt at your house, or a birthday party for Jesus.

Maybe the sign they need is kind words spoken: kind words to the cashier who has been berated by irritated customers, affirming words to the janitor who feels unseen, compassion filled words to the mother dealing with screaming toddlers at the store.

Maybe the sign they need is an invitation: to church, to share a prayer request, to hear about the One who has completely changed your life.

I am guilty of staying in my “holy huddle” safely tucked among my Christian friends who know their way to The Door, but I am convicted that is not where God wants me to stay. Holy huddles are good for drawing strength, comfort and encouragement, but like a football huddle, the game is not played in the huddle; the ball is not passed in the huddle.

My daughter’s sign was a vivid picture from God that those who walk in darkness need help finding the light and The Way. Only Jesus can lead them to the door of eternal life and Heaven. How can I show people Jesus today? What sign is God asking me to hold up? What sign is He asking You to hold up today?

May We SEE You in Both the Journey and the Destination

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.…” Psalm 121:1-2

The winding road of death. That is what I called the road our car’s GPS led us to as we made our way to a hotel in the mountains of Virginia. Our GPS settings are apparently stuck on finding the shortest route possible, regardless of the fact that the shortest route takes you on a severe winding road up a mountain. To make matters worse, the road had recently been plowed from heavy snow which made it basically a one lane road. Oh, and it was dark, and it was icy. Awesome!

We had made a last minute decision to leave a day early because freezing rain was forecasted to start early the day we were supposed to leave. However, as we began to make our way up the winding road of death, I started to question our decision: “Is this trip worth it?”

I was terrified; although I tried to hide it from my kids. My husband was doing a great job navigating the sharp turns and avoiding the icy patches. I was grateful for the darkness, because at least I couldn’t see over the side of the road (which by the way, had no guardrails!)

As we were slowly making our way up and down, and back and forth, I began paying attention to how my husband was driving; but for once, not in a passenger-seat driver kind of way. At that moment, all I wanted was to SEE God with us and to know that He was there (although, part of me was convinced we would all be seeing Him face to face at any moment!).

As I sat in the car, I began to see not just the crazy road in front of me, but I began to see the road as a metaphor for life.

How many twists and turns do we have to take in this life? How many struggles to get uphill? How many dangerous things do we have to avoid? And how many times have things seemed to get out of control and required us to put on the brakes?

The road of life is often dangerous and hard to navigate, but we are not meant to travel the road alone!

When we had to make a sharp uphill turn, we had to accelerate quickly to make it up the incline. The times we must go uphill in life (times when we must make a life change, deal with a difficult diagnosis, endure intense emotional pain) we should accelerate quickly to God’s Word. We need to cling to Him and ask Him for the strength to move ahead in His power.

When we had to make a sharp downhill turn, we had to slow way down and shift into a lower gear. There will be times when we are faced with downhill life moments, times when things could very easily get out of control. These can be good moments, like the birth of a child, a life season change, getting something you have waited for a long time for. They could also be difficult things like the death of a loved one, depression, loss of a job. During these “downhill” moments the only way to avoid careening out of control is to slow way down. Stop and breathe in God’s Word. We can’t try to act as if everything is just the same. We need to shift gears, only do what absolutely has to get done and allow God to hold us in His arms. We must allow ourselves time to acclimate to the new situation we find ourselves in. Downhill times require us to hold fast to God and trust His strength to hold us firm.

Avoiding icy patches required a close eye on the road and anticipation of what was ahead. Sin can so easily run us off the road. Sin is good at hiding and blending in. Some sins are easy to spot and therefore more easily avoided, but other sins are like black ice; you don’t notice it until you have driven right onto it. Sins like bitterness, envy, resentment, fear, gossip, selfishness, a judgmental attitude are so easy to run into and cause us to run right off the road. We can deal with “icy” patches by staying in God’s Word so we more easily recognize sin, asking the Holy Spirit to keep our hearts soft to His conviction, confessing our sin quickly and repenting. When we keep our eyes and hearts fixed on God, the icy patches will not be able to keep us from following the road set before us.

The darkness kept our eyes focused straight ahead, where our headlights could light our way. We could not see anything that was not right in front of us. This world is darkness. God is light. As we make our way along our life road, let us keep our eyes straight ahead asking God to light our way, and then following Him.

We did eventually make it off the winding road of death. The road straightened out, my heart rate slowed down and we had a truly wonderful trip! The road was hard, but we were not alone and it led us to a glorious time.

May we all rest in the knowledge that we are not alone on the road of life. Sure, it will get hard and be difficult at times, but God is always with us. And at the end of the road, He is waiting for His children with open arms. For the believer, the end of the road is just the beginning of the unimaginable beauty and glory of eternity with our King! The destination will definitely be worth the ride!

Snowy Mountain Road

(The verse I quoted at the beginning of the post is from a Psalm that my precious Grandmother read everyday of her adult life. She trusted God along the road of her life, and was then welcomed into the arms of her Savior as He met her at her heavenly destination. I am so thankful for her life, her love and her legacy.)