Foxy the Cat

Recently, we discovered a stray cat living inside the drain pipe which runs under our driveway. At first glance I thought it was a fox. My son was convinced it was a raccoon. Which explains why her name is Foxy Raccoon Cat. (Poor thing…I know!)

While I’m not really a cat person (might have something to do with the fact that I’m allergic to them!), this little stray has somehow crawled into my heart. It took a few days for my kids to gain her trust. They would quietly walk down to her drain house and lure her out with scraps of deli meat. Once her belly was full, she would allow them to pet her. After just a day or two, she would lay in their laps after eating. They were thrilled.

I was surprised one day to find her by our back door, meowing her request for breakfast. “Well, I think we have ourselves a cat,” I told my husband that night. (He was resigned thrilled.)

The kids and I went that day to buy cat food, two bowls, treats and a flea collar. The cat has not ventured far from our house ever since. In fact, she and our dog have become the best of friends. It took time for them to accept each other’s presence. But they did! They will now lie in the sun together, sit and beg from our plates when we eat out side, and call to each other from opposites of the backdoor.

My kids view the cat as an answer to prayer. You see, for five years they have prayed off and on for a cat. They both love cats, and are convinced that I’m making up the whole allergic thing. Our deal has always been that if we ever found a stray, they could feed it and consider it their own. So, they started praying. I know they assumed God would answer their prayers immediately. But He did not. They prayed more fervently, but no cat.

As each cat-less day passed, their prayers slowed in intensity and frequency. Every once in awhile though, one of them would tag a prayer for a cat onto the end of their bedtime prayers. This went on for 5 years – a lifetime to a kid.

But then one spring day, without any fanfare or warning, a cat appeared in our drain. The excitement was so great that at first they were simply in the moment, relishing the fact that a real live cat was eating turkey slices from their hands. But that night, my eight-year old titled her head as if deep in thought, looked up at me and said, “It sure took God a long time to answer our prayers, but He did. He sent us a cat. I can’t believe it.”

What a lesson for all of us! Just because God does not give us exactly what we pray for when we pray for it, doesn’t mean that He won’t. It just may not be in our timetable.

Maybe He is delaying to grow our faith. Maybe the timing is not right. Maybe He is working in ways we can’t see. Maybe getting what we think we want is not what’s best for us.

I feel like God is teaching me so much through this little stray. I imagine she will make many appearances on this blog dedicated to seeing evidence of God in my everyday life.

I just love how personal God is – how He provides for us in such sweet and tangible ways. He allowed my kids to experience a delayed answer to prayer – a lesson far greater than anything I could have taught them. And He is using a cat, a stray cat, to open my eyes to deep spiritual truths. Truths I am still pondering and praying through.

He is a good God, and loves His children so much that He will occasionally send them foxy raccoon cats in drains just to show them that He can 😉

Foxy and Bailey

Much love,

When You Can’t See the Light

Lord, sometimes it is hard to see Your light through the dark clouds of life. Storms build, thunder rolls, and lightening casts an eery glow. My mind knows that the sun still shines, sending forth its light, yet there are times when my eyes cannot see evidence of that truth. All my eyes can see are clouds. Clouds of a nation fighting itself—of your own children fighting each other. Clouds of hate toward fellow man. Clouds of fear causing rational people to make irrational decisions. Clouds of disease. Clouds of cancer. Clouds of weariness. Clouds of doubt. Clouds of insecurity. Clouds of abuse. Clouds of lives being taken. Clouds of war. Clouds of terrorism. Clouds of spiritual darkness.

Lord, the clouds seem to be increasing in intensity. The storm seems to be gaining strength on its own; man powerless to stop it. Father, hope feels distant. Peace seems more like a bedtime story—a fairytale—than an actual promise. Hearts are heavy. Hearts are longing. Hearts need You. Yet the clouds grow darker, ever darker.

I look up toward the Heavens, searching for Your purpose in this storm, but rain pelts my eyes, and I cannot see. Does this mean You are not there? Does this mean my hope is gone?

When I can’t see Your face, are You still there?

My soul screams YES! Just as the sun remains the center of our solar system even when clouds block our view of it, You remain the center of this universe even when darkness casts long shadows over Your creation. You are still sovereign. You are still GOD. My eyes may not see You, but my soul observes evidence of Your fingerprints. My heart feels the strength of Your arms.

While You have created us with human eyes—finite, limited eyes, You have also given Your children heavenly eyes. Eyes that look not at what they can see, but trust in what they cannot. You have created Your people to see Your promises. To see Your fingerprints. To see Your love through the sacrifice You made upon a wooden cross thousands of years ago. We do not have to fear clouds of any kind because they have no power to remove You. Clouds have no power over Your Light. You have complete authority over every single cloud. No storm can build without Your permission—that is both a confusion and a comfort for one in the midst of a storm.

Father, I do not understand Your ways, but I trust them. You are so much higher than I. You see the beginning of this world while simultaneously seeing its end and every heartbeat in-between. Every moment is part of the grand tapestry You are weaving together. My eyes see but a fraction of a single thread, while Your eyes see it all—while You masterfully create beauty from the ashes sin leaves behind. Your purposes will always prevail. Always.

God, my eyes may not see You at times, but let my spirit have Heaven’s eyes. Let me trust what I cannot see. Let me always trust in You. Let my heart gaze upon Love itself. Hold me in Your arms. Hold all of Your children through the storm. We may not always see You, but Lord let us always trust You. Let us always look with Heaven’s eyes into the eyes of the One who freely gives us Hope, Peace, and Salvation.

Father, when we can’t see Your face, help us to trust Your heart.

Your heart

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.” Psalm 62:1

The Book of James in Two Words

Prayer is powerful. Prayer changes things. Prayer is the conduit through which God works in the lives of mere humans. And prayer is what allowed me (shy, introverted me) to stand before a large group of women and share what I learned from our study of the book of James this year.(Asked to Speak) And guess what? I didn’t even turn purple!!….well, at least I don’t think I did. The fact that I literally sprinted across our church to make it in time to speak, left me both out of breath and out of any moisture in my mouth! So compared having what felt like cotton in my mouth, I was too distracted to turn colors! 😉 

I wanted to share a part of my talk here. Both as an encouragement to others, and as a reminder to myself of God’s grace and power.

All God’s Words are true.
Jesus is my friend.
Jesus is God.
Jesus’ boo-boos wash my sin away.
Some words in the Bible are red b/c Jesus got boo-boos and bleeded.

These phrases have been spoken by the three year olds in my class this year. Three year olds! The love they have for Jesus is precious. The love they gladly accept from Him is inspiring. Every year I think this is surely my favorite class, and this year is no exception. I am so very blessed to be able to teach God’s littlest lambs each week.

As I have been reflecting on this past year in James, I have realized that in teaching the children, God has been teaching me. Having to take big spiritual concepts (like patience in suffering) and boil them down into nuggets of truth a three year old can understand takes some serious supernatural intervention.

Each week as I would go through the adult lesson, I would find myself asking the Lord to reveal the most fundamental basic truth to me. In a way, I was asking God to treat me like a three year old and teach me His Word. And you know what? He did!

You know, maybe that’s what Jesus meant when He said that we should come to Him like children—we should come not assuming we understand, not with preconceived ideas or an agenda, but just humbly come to our Father and ask Him to teach us in a way we can understand.

Each week as I looked for those truth nuggets (as I call them), a theme started to emerge. A beautiful, life changing theme—like a thread woven throughout the book of James. God showed me that at it most basic level, the book of James can be summarized in two words. Follow Jesus.

Seems pretty simple right? Easy enough for a three-year-old to understand, yet profound enough to spend a lifetime absorbing and implementing.

Follow Jesus—Do what He says in His Word. Love as He loved. Give as He gave.

James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

I love James because it is so action oriented. I think so often we can fall into a pattern of being passive or complacent in our walk with the Lord. I know for many years I looked at my faith as “something I did in the past” I had asked Jesus (past tense) to forgive me of my sin when I was a child. I was (again past tense) a Christian. 

But my faith is not a past tense event. My faith—my hope—is my present tense relationship with Jesus. Being a Christian is not about an event that happened or a prayer that was prayed in the past. Being a Christian is about following Jesus every day. Of course we have a moment when we trusted in Christ for the first time, and we will not follow Him perfectly every moment of every day. So naturally there are some past tense parts of our story. But as James so beautifully wrote in His book, our faith needs to be active. We need to display our faith by our actions. We need to live our lives aware of the fact we live in the Presence of God.

So for me this year has been all about what it means to follow Jesus. I posed this question to my three year olds and to the fourth graders I teach on Sunday morning. I asked them what is important to do when you follow someone.

Here are some of their answers:

You have to stay close to them.
You have to go where they go.
If it gets dark, you might have to hold their hand.
You have to ask them to wait if you have to go potty 😉
You have to trust that they know where they are going.
If you fall down and get a boo-boo, they can carry you.
Sometimes you might have to walk in their footprints if you can’t see them very well.

Wow. I couldn’t have described the Christian walk any better!

Follow Jesus.
Stay close to Him.
Remain in His Word.
Hold tight to His Hand.
Tell Him your needs, fears, desires (and even if you have to go to the potty!;)
Trust Him.
Allow Him to carry you.
Follow Him one step at a time, as you walk in His footprints.

My prayer is that we all will purposefully follow Him and allow Him to lead us wherever He would have us to go.

Much love,


Lord, I’ll do anything for You, but please don’t ask me to do THAT!

I’m a writer. I like to write. I find joy in expressing myself through words typed on a screen or written on paper. I enjoy teaching through curriculum and devotionals. Over the years I’ve even learned to enjoy teaching children—little ones that is. But I am not a speaker. I don’t like standing in front of groups of people and having them all focus on me. It is unpleasant, uncomfortable, and just downright unnatural!

I’ll pray and ask God to use me in whatever way He desires, and yet I think deep down inside what I really mean is “God please use me in my comfort zone—and only in my comfort zone.”

However, I don’t often grow in my comfort zone. Instead, I grow through being stretched, pushed, and often times pulled along. It isn’t pleasant, not at all like the comfort of the familiar, but it usually always results in growth.

When I have to rely on God in new ways, when I have to stand on Him alone or else risk sinking, my faith grows.

When I have to keep my eyes focused on Him instead of any abilities I think I have, my faith grows.

When I have to pray before I can take a step because I am completely terrified, my faith grows.

And honestly, more than I want to be comfortable I want my faith to grow. More than I want to be comfortable, I want to be obedient. More than I want to be comfortable I want to be wowed by God.

So with much trepidation and in complete surrender of all that is comfortable, I will speak when He asks me to. Granted, I will turn various shades of red and purple when I do so. I will lose all saliva from my mouth, and my fingers will tingle. But I will speak because He will give me the ability. He will give me the words. He will give me the strength. And hopefully He will keep people from being too distracted by the whole purple thing 😉

I may be out of my comfort zone, but I will be in the arms of the Comforter.

So tomorrow I will stand up before some amazing women and give verbal testimony to the God I love. (And if you would like to pray that I get through it without turing too purple….that would be really awesome!

Much love,

2 Chronicles 20-17

Sometimes you just have to get out of the car

His body tensed, “I can’t do it. I just can’t.”

Doubts and fears were wreaking havoc on his mind. “I’m not ready. I’m gonna fail.”

Hormones were wreaking havoc on his self-esteem. “I look hideous. Everyone’s going to stare at me.”

It wasn’t just one thing, it was a culmination of many: being overtired, hormone surges, hunger, two tests, and post-spring break blues. He was hurting, and nothing I said was helping.

We sat in the car and waited for the tide to ebb. Yet his distress only escalated. His fear paralyzed him. He didn’t think he could do it. He didn’t feel able to face his peers, didn’t feel ready to take his tests. He wanted to go home, put his pajamas back on, and retreat to his comfort zone.

I knew that could not happen—not if he was going to grow.

Realizing he was already late, I drove out of the parking lot and headed up the road to the donut shop. He stayed in the car while I went inside and got him some breakfast. He had forgotten to eat, which was certainly not helping his current mood. “Sweetheart, you’ve got to eat something. You will feel a little better, I promise.”

He looked at me with the skeptical eyes of a teenager, but his stomach won the internal fight and he ate. “Why can’t I just go home?”

“Because you have to face this. And you can face this. This is not as bad as it feels right now. You can’t always go by your feelings. Sometimes you just have to trust God to walk with you and know He’s got this.”

His body tensed, “But what if I fail?”

“Yes, you may fail by the school’s standards, but you will have succeeded to me and your dad because you tried. You will have trusted God to get you through this day. Let’s just say that for today, getting out of the car is more important than getting a good grade.”

He took a steadying breath, confusion etched on his face. “Why am I getting so upset?”

“Because you’ve held so much in for so long. Middle school is hard. Everything feels bigger and harder. You are changing from kid to grown-up and that process hurts sometimes. It’s ok to cry. In fact, every once in awhile it’s good to cry and let it out.”

He was breathing normally as we turned back into the school. “I love you,” he whispered.

“Oh my sweet boy, I love you too.”

I stopped the car, put it in park, and turned to face him. “Now, it’s time to just get out of the car and know that God is going with you. You are not alone. You are never alone. God’s got this. He’s got you.”

I watched with pride as little boy merged into young man right before my eyes. He walked into the school, prepared to face his fears.

Tears began to well up in my own eyes as I put the car into drive.

“My sweet daughter,” I heard in my heart, “Now it is your turn. Those fears you have, those doubts that are keeping you frozen in place. You need to give them to me. I am now asking you to just get out of the car and walk with me.”

“But Lord,” I replied, “What if I can’t? What if I fail?”

“You may fail by the world’s standards, but you will have succeeded to me because you tried. Trust me, hold my hand, and go where I lead you. But first, you need to get out of the car, and trust me to go with you.”

“Lord, why am I so scared and upset?”

“Because my precious daughter, you’ve held so much in for so long. This life is hard. Somedays everything just feels bigger and harder. You’re changing from self-focused to Me-focused, and at times that process hurts. It’s ok to cry out to Me. It is good to cry out to Me. I am here for you.”

“I love You,” I whispered through my own tears.

“Oh how I love you my sweet child. Now, it is time to get out of the car and walk with me. Know that you are not alone. You are never alone. I AM with you. I’ve got this. And I’ve got you.”

Get out of the car

My Story

Today at church our pastor challenged us to do something. He challenged all of us who have trusted in Jesus to share our testimony (our Jesus story) with at least one person this week.

We are doing an amazing series on the gospel of John called Fully Alive. Each week I am struck with a sense of awe over God’s Word. This week was no different, although it was especially beautiful to me since the passage was John 4 (the story of the Samaritan woman at the well). I had just written a post about that very text and so it was fresh on my heart. I smiled as our pastor gave his challenge to us, remembering the fresh word God had just given me about my testimony (see A Pursuing Love).

So in light of the precious truth God revealed to me in my quiet time, as well as the challenge given by our pastor, I would like to take this post to share my testimony with you. Although, I must confess that I used to almost feel embarrassed by my testimony because it didn’t seem very exciting (I mean I was six and surprisingly not a hardened criminal or drug addict or wild child). But God has shown me that every testimony is beautiful and powerful and needs to be shared. Any person who passes from death in sin to life in Christ is a glorious masterpiece of the Father. Anyone who turns from sin to Jesus should be celebrated.

After all, the wonder of a person’s testimony isn’t in who they were, but in who they are now in Christ.

I was six years old when I first became aware of my sin. I had been in children’s church and heard someone say that you had to have Jesus in your heart in order to go to Heaven. I remember feeling an odd sensation deep inside my soul, and was troubled all that day. That night when my dad came in to kiss me goodnight, I decided to voice my confusion to him. “Daddy,” I asked, “How does God fit into my heart?” I can only imagine the strength it took to not laugh at my very literal interpretation of “accepting Jesus in your heart.” In my six-year-old mind I thought that I had to somehow physically take Jesus into my heart, like I had to swallow the Son of God!

My dad patiently explained the Gospel to me in language I could understand. He explained that all people are born sinners and that our sin keeps us away from God. But that God loves each one of us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to rescue us from sin. He told me that Jesus took the punishment for my sin so that all I have to do is say thank you and ask Him to forgive me and then I would be God’s child. With tears in both of our eyes, he asked if I wanted to accept Jesus’ gift of life right there and then. I couldn’t help but say yes. So in my Strawberry Shortcake nightgown on my Strawberry Shortcake sheets I prayed and asked Jesus to be my Savior and King. To this day I still remember the feeling I got after I prayed. I felt like I could fly! I started jumping on my bed and couldn’t stop giggling. I ran to tell my mom and we all celebrated for quite awhile.

Even though I was painfully shy as a child, I couldn’t wait to get to school the next day and tell all of my friends that I had Jesus in my heart.

While I have certainly had spiritual ups and downs throughout my life, through it all I have known that Jesus is always with me and that no matter what He loves me.

So, that’s my story. Nothing like the apostle Paul’s (thank goodness!) but it is my story and I am SO very grateful to the One who made that story possible – the One who saved a little girl decked out in Strawberry Shortcake pj’s!

What’s your story? Do you have one? If so, would you be willing to share it in the comments section? Everyone’s salvation story is precious and beautiful and deserves to be shared. I would be HONORED if you would consider sharing it here. And if you attend the same church as I do then this could be your opportunity to accept Pastor Brian’s challenge 😉

Let’s be encouraged by each other’s unique stories and how they each point to the same glorious Savior.

Hopeful to hear your story……

What's Your Story

A Pursuing Love

“Now He had to go through Samaria.” John 4:4

One of my favorite accounts in the Bible is that of Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman. It is such a beautiful illustration of the Gospel—of who Jesus is and of the power of His transforming love.

As I have been studying the passage, one specific verse has stood out among all the others—John 4:4, “Now He had to go through Samaria.”

I don’t really think of Jesus having to do anything…I mean He is all powerful God after all. But the wording of the verse is clear—He had to go. Other translations say it was necessary for Him to go through Samaria.

But here’s the interesting thing….the Jews back then would have done anything to not go through Samaria. They would have gone miles out of their way to avoid passing through that city. There was such prejudice from the Jews against the Samaritans, that the area was avoided at all costs. Yet, Jesus purposefully and confidently set His face to Samaria. He had to go.


Because He had an appointment to keep. Jesus, the Author and Creator of life, went to make Himself available to a woman—a woman who was just going about her very ordinary day.

Can’t you just picture the scene: Jesus, tired and dusty from His journey, is sitting at a well. The passage says He was tired, yet I still picture Him with love-filled eyes alert to all around Him. Approaching the well is a woman—tired and dusty from her trek to the well. I imagine her being distracted with her daily to-do list.

Consumed in her thoughts, she looks up surprised to find a man sitting at her destination. Her surprise surely turns to shock as He speaks to her, asking for a drink of water.

The Creator of the world, God in human flesh, asks her—an outcast, a nobody, for a drink of water. The Savior turned His face toward this woman and engaged her in conversation! He had an appointment with her that day. She didn’t know it, others in her community didn’t know it, but God knew it and He went in pursuit of her.

Let that truth sink in: God went in pursuit of her.

I had never really though about my testimony like that before. There once was a day when Jesus sat by a well and waited for me. My Creator, the King of the Universe, went in search of me. He had to go and engage my heart in conversation. There was an evening many years ago when Love’s eyes looked on me and beckoned me to come and drink from His Living Water.

What a beautiful picture of the transforming love of God—that He goes in search of us, that He waits for us, and that He invites us—sinners—to drink from His well of truth and love.

Oh that we would all sit at His well today and drink deeply!


Much love,

Ms. Robyn

Have you ever had to wait for something you’ve desperately wanted? Have you ever experienced a longing in the depths of your soul?

Maybe that was a past feeling, or maybe you are still there—waiting, ever waiting for God to move and grant you your heart’s desire.

Waiting is often grueling. It’s amazing how waiting can often feel more exhausting than getting.

What are you waiting for?
Love – A child – A new job – Healing – Answers – Hope – Financial freedom – Recognition

I have a friend who has been waiting for something for years and years. Her deepest desire—her soul’s longing—is for her children and husband to trust in Jesus.

My friend, Robyn, came to faith in Jesus as an adult, after her children were grown. She saw the light of Jesus’ love and could not help but be drawn into it. She is a beautiful witness for the Lord and an encouragement to all who meet her. She teaches two-year-olds in our weekly Bible study. There you will always find her with a song on her lips and a smile on her face. She loves those children in such a way that you feel better about yourself, and life in general, after being in her classroom.

God revealed something precious to me today as I listened to her share her heart with our group. She mentioned that while she waits on God to answer her prayers about her own children, she will continue to teach other people’s children about Jesus.

This precious woman has determined in her heart not to give up on God, not to wring her hands in despair, not to begrudge God’s timing—but to actively wait. To get up every Tuesday morning and pour into the lives of children. To do what she can while she can. She is actively waiting. And God is blessing her faithfulness and obedience.

My own daughter had Robyn as a teacher several years ago. My daughter still remembers Ms. Robyn and loves to run up and hug her. My little girl was taught by Robyn, and then two years later prayed to ask Jesus to be her Savior and King. Robyn helped to plant seeds of truth deep inside my little one’s heart, as well as so many other little ones. Countless children are being introduced to their Creator and King by this woman who has determined in her heart to walk in obedience while she waits.

I don’t think I will ever look at waiting quite the same way. God can bless our time of waiting just as much as He can bless us with what we’ve been waiting for. And only He knows the lives that may be changed through an obedient waiting heart.

Thank you Ms. Robyn!

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31


Much love,