Write It, Learn It, Live It – Day Five

This is the last post in a weeklong series teaching the “Write It, Learn It, Live It” Bible study method. You can see the other posts by clicking the following links: Start HereDay OneDay TwoDay ThreeDay Four.

The LORD is our stronghold in times of trouble.

Day Five Verses: Psalm 37:39-40

1. Write It ( (Don’t paraphrase. While you may choose to only write a  section of the verse, only write words from the verse…don’t add anything to the verse)

“The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; He is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him.”

2. Learn It (What are these verses teaching? Are they giving a command? Do you learn something about God? Several lessons are often drawn from the same verse. Let God speak directly to you. Write down what you learn.)

*True salvation (eternal; life-giving salvation) comes from Jesus and Jesus alone – not from my bank account, not from job security, not from good grades, not from good works, not from my own power – but through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

*Jesus is my stronghold – He holds me in His strong arms. Who/what is stronger than the One who holds the entire universe together? Nothing! The arms of my Savior wrap tightly around me; the Creator and King Himself helps me during times of trouble.

*I need not fear the wicked – I need only have faith in God Almighty.

3. Live It (How can these verses change your life? What can you do differently because of the lesson they teach? Try to form your personal application as a question you ask yourself, or as a prayer. Let God speak personally to you and your situation. Write down your personal application.)

*Am I looking to anything else for salvation?
Who have I shared the truth of Jesus’ salvation with recently?

*Where do I go in times of trouble?
Is my first thought to run to the arms of my Savior? Or do I run to something else?

*When I look at my fears and the sources of them, I become overwhelmed. They look enormous. But, when I look up to my faithful strong Heavenly Father, my fears and the wicked become very small. How can I keep my eyes looking up? How can I fix my eyes on Jesus?

LORD, I want to keep my eyes on You. You keep everything in perspective. Hold my head up and fix my eyes on You. Help me to not fear the wicked, but to have faith in You – my beautiful Savior. 

I hope you have found this to be a helpful way to study God’s Word. Next week I will provide some prompts and cues to help you teach this method to children.

Much love,


Write It, Learn It, Live It – Day Four

This is the fifth post in a weeklong series teaching the “Write It, Learn It, Live It” Bible study method. You can see the other posts by clicking the following links: Start HereDay OneDay TwoDay Three.

Psalm 37-10

Day Four Verses: Psalms 37:10-11
(Feel free to cover more than just two verses at a time. I am only covering two here to show you examples. Just don’t overwhelm yourself with a lot of verses. I wouldn’t do more than five at a time. The idea is to sit before the Lord and intently study a few verses instead of skimming many.) 

Verse 10

1. Write It (Don’t paraphrase. While you may choose to only write a  section of the verse, only write words from the verse…don’t add anything to the verse)

“A little while and the wicked will be no more, though you look for them, they will not be found.”

2. Learn It (What are these verses teaching? Are they giving a command? Do you learn something about God? Several lessons are often drawn from the same verse. Let God speak directly to you. Write down what you learn.)

A little while can sure feel like forever sometimes! But God sees with eternal eyes. Compared to eternity, the rule of the wicked is nothing. Evil, sin and wickedness WILL be destroyed, but God will remain forever!

3. Live It (How can these verses change your life? What can you do differently because of the lesson they teach? Try to form your personal application as a question you ask yourself, or as a prayer. Let God speak personally to you and your situation. Write down your personal application.)

Am I more short-sighted or eternity-sighted? How can I better view events of this world from an eternal perspective?
*Lord, let me see through heaven’s eyes. I default to such a short-sighted view of evil and wickedness. I tend to focus on the temporal much more than the eternal. Help me keep my eyes fixed on You and see the eternal as much as my human eyes are able.

Verse 11

1. Write It

“The meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.”

2. Learn It

Meek = gentle; submissive; one who humbly submits to authority.
There is great peace under the shadow of the Almighty’s wings. Humbly submit to God’s authority and sovereignty, and enjoy great peace.

3. Live It

Am I enjoying great peace? Am I fully submitting to God’s perfect will? Am I trusting in His sovereignty, timing and will?
*God, I want the peace You willingly and gladly offer. Help me to submit and surrender to You. Help me to enjoy great peace, even in the midst of great earthly chaos.

I hope and pray you are finding this method of Bible study helpful and that it is transforming your quiet time with the LORD. Please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what God is teaching you through His Word. I will finish this series tomorrow, and then spend a few days next week helping you teach this powerful method to your children. Blessings!

See you tomorrow,




Write It, Learn It, Live It – Day Three

This is the fourth post in a weeklong series teaching the “Write It, Learn It, Live It” Bible study method. You can see the other posts by clicking the following links: Start HereDay OneDay Two.

Day Three Verses: Psalm 37:5-9

Take me to the river

*First pray and ask God to speak personally to you through His Word.

(I grouped verses 5-8 together. One just seems to flow into the next; like a beautiful crescendo. However, feel free to focus on each individual verse.)

Verses 5-8:
1. Write It (Don’t paraphrase. While you may choose to only write a  section of the verse, only write words from the verse…don’t add anything to the verse)

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
    the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
   and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
 do not fret—it leads only to evil.”

2. Learn It  (What are these verses teaching? Are they giving a command? Do you learn something about God? Several lessons are often drawn from the same verse. Let God speak directly to you. Write down what you learn.)

*The first thing I notice in these verses are all of the command words. I went ahead and underlined those. They seemed important to me as I was reading the verses.

  1.  If I will trust Jesus and commit my life to Him then He will shine His glorious light through me into this dark world. I will also shine for all of eternity as God’s child. If God promises it – He WILL do it.
  2. Twice we are told not to fret. Instead we are to trust, wait, be still, and not give into anger. It is SO easy for me to become angry at the state of our world. It is SO easy for me to fret over the evil that seems to loom around every corner. I feel like those two responses are me doing something, and oh how I long to be able to do something right now. But wrath-filled anger and fretting are not what God desires. They will only lead to my own dance with evil. God knows we are a “doing” people and so He gives us His to-do list: commit, trust, be still, wait, do not fret, refrain from anger, turn from wrath. God’s to-do list is impossible for me to do on my own strength though. I need the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish each of those commands.

3. Live It  (How can these verses change your life? What can you do differently because of the lesson they teach? Try to form your personal application as a question you ask yourself, or as a prayer. Let God speak personally to you and your situation. Write down your personal application.)

  1. Would someone be able to look at my life and see the light of Jesus shining through? Am I trusting in other things which potentially dim the light of Jesus in my life?
  2. What am I fretting over? What is making me angry?
    *Lord, I give You my worries and anger. I want to rest in You. Convict me of the anger in my heart that is not righteous or godly, but prideful and caused by hurt-feelings. Help me release those to You. Give me the strength to trust You, rest in You, and release the future to You regardless of the evil that parades all around. Enable me to trust You to deal with those who violate Your law and statues and not be consumed with anger towards them.

Verse 9:

  1. Write It

“For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”

    2. Learn It
I do not need to fret or be consumed with anger because God will one day destroy all traces, all memory, of evil. Evil will be no more, but God’s children will dwell with Him forever.* God is my hope.

  3. Live It
Am I placing my ultimate hope in anything other than God? Am I hoping more in my savings account than God? Am I hoping more in leaders than God? Am I hoping more in my own abilities than in God?
*Lord, I want my hope to be in You and You alone. Forgive me for putting other things above You. You are my one true Hope. Pierce this darkness with Your brilliant, glorious light. I love You. 

Is it getting easier? I hope so! I would love to hear what God is teaching you through this Psalm. I would be honored if you would leave me a comment and share a nugget of Truth God revealed to you.

See you tomorrow,

Let Others SEE Your Love in Us

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

“Mom, why is it so much easier to hate and be mean than it is to love and be kind?”

This is one of the many questions that have arisen over the past few days in my house. And it is a good question. It encompasses a universal truth of humankind: to hate is easy, to love is hard.

Hate and unkindness seem to be a type of default human setting, a hard wired effect of sin. This hard wired setting also carries with it the settings of pride, envy, selfishness, and jealously. It requires no effort, no thought and no filter to throw stones and hurl accusations at others. We have no problem acting as judge, jury, and investigating officers over situations that we know nothing about. We can easily find fault in others, especially those who are most visible. At the first sight of wrongdoing, we point fingers, cast blame, and paint a red “A” on the person. Condemnation, judgment, and shunning require no effort. We speak out against others as easily as we speak about the weather. We gossip, speculate, and tear down as if in doing so we will spare ourselves from a similar fate.

Yes, to hate and to spread hate is easy. But whoever said the easy way was the right way?

If hate is a default setting, then love must be an update or an upgrade.

To love is hard, at times showing love is absolutely impossible, but yet God is the God of the impossible. The God who demonstrated love to the very ones who were nailing His hands and feet to the cross, is the same One who can love through us. The Bible says in John 13:35 that we will be known as followers of Jesus by the fact we love others.

After all, Jesus showed and continues to show love to everyone, even though none of us deserve it.

He loves the lovely and the unlovable.

He loves the commendable and the condemned.

He loves the esteemed and the estranged.

He loves the sinner and sin-illuminator.

He loves the physically hungry and the power-hungry.

He loves the accused and the accuser.

He loved those calling out to crucify Him, just as He loved those crying as He was crucified.

He loves those who hate Him and He loves those who love Him.

Jesus Himself is Love and He is the only way we can truly love others.

Jesus never turned away from a person who truly repented and sought forgiveness. Jesus restored, redeemed, reclaimed and remade. He is able to restore sinners and victims. He is able to heal, and make new.

Love heals, while hate further opens wounds.

My heart has been so very heavy this past week. Things in this world feel different; as if sitting in a play where you are so busy watching the actors on stage that you don’t realize the scene behind them as changed.

The scene and climate of our world has changed. A battle is being waged and evil is creeping in while hate takes center stage.

Oh how I long for God’s people to stand up in love and pray for the boldness, strength and courage to not be content with our default human setting, but to pray to the God who is Himself Love and ask for Him to fill us with Himself so we can show Love to this broken world, and to fellow Christians.

Love, forgiveness and compassion are the weapons we must use to fight the hatred growing all around us.

Hate is easy, judgment is easy, condemnation is easy.

But Lord let us not be content with easy. Raise up Your people and strengthen us to do what is hard: to love, to forgive, and to show compassion. Give us Your wisdom and discernment to know how to love victims and perpetrators; and give us the courage and strength to forgive and restore, and to admit that we are all sinners in need of You, the Savior.

We need You Jehovah Rapha to heal our hearts, our people, and our land. We give our hearts to You. Please show Your love in and through us. In Jesus’ Name, amen.


Let us SEE You even through tired eyes

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

“Mom, you know that verse that says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith?” my son asked me as we walked through the grocery store after school one day this week. He went one, “well, if I had to say that about myself right now, I would say ‘I am beat up from the fight, crawling to the finish line because I can’t stand up, and trying really hard to have faith that I’ll make it.’ ”

So, my son is a little prone toward the dramatic. Especially in light of the fact he is talking about coming to the end of his sixth grade year. But I can so identify with how he is feeling. This time of year often leaves me limping along in my personal race too.

Maybe it’s just the fact that we know summer is almost here and the pace of life will slow down some, which makes us realize the intense pace we have been keeping all year long. Maybe it is the push to get as much done as possible before kids are home for the summer? Or maybe it just is what it is. Whatever the reason, I feel worn out and tired. Getting out of bed in the morning seems like an accomplishment in and of itself most mornings.

I have these vague memories from early September of me getting up before the alarm went off in order to pack healthy lunches with little encouraging notes tucked inside. I remember having each person’s laundry done and put away by Sunday night, with clothes for the next day picked out the night before. I seem to remember having these awesome folders where each child’s school forms and information were neatly stored until needed.

Fast forward to present day, where I willingly write lunch card checks so I don’t have to make a lunch (I mean $5 for lunch saves me at least 10 minutes in the morning, that’s totally worth it right????), my son is digging through the dryer the morning of school to find a shirt to wear, which looks as wrinkled as it sounds like it would. And school forms? Can we just go back to the days when those things were safety pinned to our kids shirts and then repined to send back?

I start to feel so guilty about feeling worn out. I mean, there are people in this world with real problems and real reasons to feel exhausted. I don’t really have a good reason, but I still feel spent.

And yet, Paul himself referred to life as a fight, which implies there are times it will be hard and even painful. He also said he finished the race, not that he ran the entire time with his head held high, his steps light and fast, and without getting winded. Maybe it is ok sometimes to limp, crawl or be supported by someone else as we run in our race toward our real Home.

I am human and I get fatigued. I am emotional and often allow my feelings to lead me. God knows this about me and yet, He loves me (and you!). He knows our weakness and He knows sometimes life feels like it is too hard for us. But I think those times can actually become His greatest blessings. After all, when I can’t do it on my own, I have to trust Him to get me through.

It is when I am at my weakest that I am able to SEE Him as my strength.

When I have nothing left to give, but am able to meet the needs of others, I SEE Him providing through me.

When I am so unfocused that I can’t write a curriculum lesson, and I cry out to God to write for me and He does, I SEE His Presence flowing through me.

When I want to pull the covers over my head and hide, and yet I ask Him to help me get up and He does, I SEE Him as the source of my strength.

When I feel overwhelmed, flustered, and grumpy, and ask Him to help me, and when He quiets my heart and brings me rest, I SEE Him as the giver of Peace.

Maybe being worn out and tired isn’t as bad as I thought it was. Maybe this is exactly where God wants me to be so I can SEE Him more clearly. And maybe, this is the day when my Precious Father will carry me for a bit along my race, as He fills me with His strength and lets me rest in Him.

We will finish this race! Let’s support each other, love each other, pray for each other, and encourage one another along the way!

And please don’t judge me if you see my kids in horribly wrinkled clothes today! 😉


Sometimes we all need to let our “Daddy” hold us along the way

May We SEE How You Provide (even when we don’t know what we need)

“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” Psalm 23:2


Have you ever taken a drink, not realizing how thirsty you were, and then suddenly found the cup empty as you reach for more? We often run so hard, go so fast, and have so much on our overloaded plates, that at times, we fail to see our own basic needs, or the trouble we are headed towards if we do not stop and take a drink.

I was able to SEE God’s provision this weekend in a beautiful way, as He provided a glorious drink of water I didn’t even know I needed.

A few months ago, my incredibly generous parents called to say they wanted to give my husband and me a weekend vacation for our anniversary. They would pay for the hotel, and come take care of our kids! (I mean, seriously! they are amazing!) I mentioned that we would love to visit Charleston, SC and next thing I knew our anniversary trip was booked!

My mom kept mentioning how good it would be for my husband and I to get away to focus on each other and our marriage. I listened politely thinking, “we’re ok, I mean busy yes, but we are doing just fine.” However, I am not one to turn down a free trip, so I started packing.

I am almost embarrassed to admit this, but my husband and I had not spent a fun weekend away from our kids in six years. (Had it really been that long????) See, when you’re in the thick of parenting, career building, home projects, church service, and school volunteering the time just passes as you doggie-paddle to keep your head above water. Since my head was still kind of above the water, I didn’t see I was in trouble. I didn’t realize my muscles were getting tired, or that I was hungry and thirsty. I had gotten used to the status-quo: short interrupted conversations with my husband, life beginning to revolve around outside expectations, falling asleep in the middle of reading my daughter a book, an evening spent staring at the tv thinking that counted as quality time with my husband…..(anyone experience this or just me????)

I had accepted the status quo as enough. I was just fine and my marriage was just fine. I had become complacent with the status quo, and couldn’t see the danger I was headed towards. Now, I’m not saying that my husband and I were headed toward any kind of separation or anything like that, but we were headed further and further apart as we slowly began living separate lives under the same roof.

I am so grateful for not only generous parents, but wise parents as well. Parents who are willing to get involved and point out a potential pitfall you are headed toward. They have been there, and done that after being married almost 50 years! They don’t get involved often, so when they do, I tend to listen 🙂

They recognized the road we were on and lovingly and generously offered a detour. My husband and I left our kids in their capable hands and headed out of town. Within the first hour of getting to our destination, we realized how desperately we needed this. Sitting at dinner with my husband of 17 years, looking into the same blue eyes I have loved for over two decades, I felt my soul drink deeply from a cup that was lovingly handed to me by my precious God.

We spent two glorious days together exploring a city rich in history, reflecting on two decades together, and marveling at God’s sweet blessings on us.

There is a reason Jesus called Himself the Living Water. Not only does He give us eternal life, but He sustains us as He continues to fill us with Himself. I had no idea how thirsty I was, but He did and He provided through my parents generosity.

I am so grateful for this weekend, and our time away. I feel as though my eyes have been opened to see my husband and our family in a new way. I have been reminded how important it is to take time for each other, even if that means it will take some effort to make it happen.

I am grateful to my mom and dad for their wisdom and generosity, I am grateful to my husband for loving me and leading our family so well, and I am eternally grateful to my God who sees our needs and lovingly provides for them in both big and small ways everyday.

“Lord, we are all so thirsty for You, and yet, oftentimes we don’t even realize our thirst. Please open our eyes to SEE our need for You, and bring us to Your Word where we can drink from Your Living Water which is the only way to satisfy our parched souls.”

*the picture at the top is from the Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, S.C. We spent three hours enjoying that beautiful place.

May We SEE the Battle, and Fight

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:13

It is hard to live on this planet and not see the battle that is raging around us. Not battles between countries, nor political battles. Not battles between law enforcement and angry citizens, nor battles over rights and religion.

But the battle which rages and fuels all those battles; the battle between good and evil. This battle has been raging since the world began, and will continue until the world, as we know it, ends.

The brilliance of our enemy’s battle plan is to blind people to the fact we are in a battle. He loves complacency, misdirection and fear. Those are some of his greatest weapons. He stirs up people to think they are fighting one battle, without realizing the greater battle raging around them.

There is a real battle going on and it is impossible to deny. Evil grows all around us and hearts are being turned away from God as the enemy prowls around looking for people to devour.

However, good is stronger than evil because God is stronger then satan! And God has already won the war. But we are called to fight.

Obviously, we cannot fight on our own. Just as a soldier would have protection and weapons, God has given His children protection and weapons so that we can stand against our enemy and fight back.

I just got done writing a children’s lesson on the armor of God, and while I’ve read that passage many times, it was as if God opened my eyes to see it in an entirely new way. I saw our armor in a whole new way that excites me, and drives me to my knees in praise and pleading.

The Belt of Truth. Just as a belt surrounds our waist, we must be surrounded by God’s truth if we are to stand against our enemy. Surrounded in truth: reading God’s Word everyday, praying for spiritual insight, thinking about Jesus, listening to Godly wisdom from others, speaking truth, singing truth, literally surrounding ourselves in Truth. There are so many lies and half-truths out there. We will most certainly fall to the lies, if we are not surrounded by Truth.

Breastplate of Righteousness. The breastplate covers the heart and lungs, and Jesus’ righteousness covers the hearts of those who trust in Him. His righteousness literally covers us so that we can stand before God. Satan cannot accuse God’s children, because they have been redeemed and justified by Jesus Himself.

Shoes of the Gospel. Our “Gospel shoes” give us both the ability to stand, and the reason to move. We stand on the Gospel and because of the Gospel, and we move so we can share the Gospel.

Shield of Faith. Satan attacks with arrows of lies, deceit, half-truths, and tricks. He knows he cannot take God’s children away from Him eternally, but he will do everything he can to make them ineffectual for God’s Kingdom. He seeks to turn hearts away from God. Faith in Jesus is our protection. Knowing who Jesus is, and who we are in Him is how we deflect those arrows. When our faith is in Jesus, He becomes our shield, which means satan’s arrows strike Jesus instead of us! Those arrows are no match for The King!

The Helmet of Salvation. Just as a helmet protects a person from a deadly injury, our salvation protects our lives from being snatched away from God. While satan will attack, he cannot remove God’s children from His hand. Satan may win a battle, but he will never win the war because the names of those who know Jesus are engraved on His hands.

The Sword of the Spirit. This is the only weapon in our armor, and it is the only one we need. What is more powerful than God’s Word? With His Word, He created the universe. And with His Word, He will one day destroy satan. God’s Word is so powerful that it is what Jesus Himself used to fight satan in the wilderness. God’s Word is the most powerful weapon of all, capable of changing the very core of man. However, just as a soldier must pick up his sword to use it, we must pick up God’s Word so we can use it. We must read it, speak it, pray it, talk about it, listen to it, and meditate on it. We must know God’s Word so we can use God’s Word in battle.

Prayer. While prayer is not officially listed in the armor list, it is no less important in our arsenal of weapons. I read an amazing quote by John Piper that I believe sums up the purpose of prayer beautifully: “Prayer is the walkie-talkie on the battlefield of the world. It calls in for the accurate location of the target of the Word. It calls in to ask for the protection of air cover. It calls in to ask for fire power to blast open a way for the tanks of the Word of God. It calls in the miracle of healing for the wounded soldiers. It calls in supplies for the forces. And it calls in the needed reinforcements.”

We must admit that we are in the battle of all battles, and we must put on each day, the armor God has given us. Surround yourself in truth, ask Jesus to cover your heart with His righteousness, run with the Gospel, ask Jesus to be your shield, battle confidently, know God’s Word, and pray.

“God, raise up warriors to fight boldly and confidently, knowing that You have already won the war!”

Two Edged Sword

May we SEE You While We Wait

I seem to be suffering from a mild case of writer’s block. Curriculum lessons have become harder to write, my thoughts are a jumbled mess, and yet non-existent at the same time. Even writing a grocery list feels overwhelming. The former grief counselor in me, knows that grief can cause distraction and focus problems. I am being patient with myself (as patient as I can be with deadlines looming;) and trusting the One who wrote The Book in the first place, to help me write lessons from His book, for His kids.

As I wait, and trust, and slowly write, I keep reflecting on a beautiful song by Francesca Battistelli called, “Holy Spirit.” It has become my prayer the last few weeks. I played around with the song and some of my dad’s and my aunt’s gorgeous pictures. I ended up creating a slideshow which I wanted to share here. I pray that as you listen to the words of this song, your heart will be stirred by the Holy Spirit and you will become more aware of His Presence. Waiting is hard, but waiting in the power of the Holy Spirit can become a beautiful time of rest and refreshment.

You can download this song (and her entire album which is INCREDIBLE) by clicking the following link:


Help us SEE You in the Darkness

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (and the darkness) I will fear no evil, for You are with me…..” Psalm 23:4

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

“He restores my soul….”Psalm 23:3


I have always hated darkness. As a child I was talked into crawling through a “touch tunnel.” Sounds all well and good, but you are in a maze in total and complete darkness where you must feel your way out; you cannot even see your hand in front of your face. Even thinking about it now, makes me shiver.

As a child, I thought darkness referred only to the absence of light, and if I could have a night-light at all times, then I could chase the darkness away.

Of course, now as an adult, I know that darkness comes in many different forms. Some forms of darkness can easily be chased away, while others have the power to consume you.

The darkness of a loved one’s death, mental illness, a psychological trauma, abuse, a scary medical diagnosis, a broken marriage, a wayward child, can all threaten to consume us. The darkness of these realities seek to overtake the light.

This past week, the world lost a precious woman. Questions like: “Why?” “Could I have done something?” and “How did I miss her pain?” nag at our thoughts day and night. Answers are few, questions are many, and grief is palpable.

When I received the news of her death, I was unable to process anything for awhile. I heard the words people were saying, but the words just could not make sense. My friend was never without a smile or a joke. I never once left her presence without a smile on my face. She loved Jesus, her family, her friends and anyone in need. She treasured God’s Word and she spoke it often. How could she be gone?

As time passed, the numbness gave way to sadness, the sadness gave way to anger, and the anger gave way to guilt. In those moments of complete confusion and disorientation, I felt like I was back in the touch tunnel. I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t see God’s purpose. I couldn’t see why He allowed this. I couldn’t even pray.

This blog is dedicated to seeing God in my everyday life, but what happens when it is dark and you can’t SEE Him?

You hold tight to who He is, and you ask Him to turn on a night-light!

If you have godly friends (and/or parents), you call them and ask them to pray with you and for you. You cry out to God to help you. You beg God to help the others affected. And you begin speaking out loud, who God is.

Darkness does not change who God is. God is good (Psalm 136:1). God is love (1 John 4:8). God is in complete control of this world (2 Chronicles 20:6). God is working all things for the good of those who love them, even when that means temporary, yet unimaginable pain (Romans 8:28). God is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9). He is our shield (Psalm 28:7), our refuge (Psalm 46:1), our stronghold (Psalm 18:2), our rock (2 Samuel 22:3). He is our salvation and our strength (Isaiah 12:22).

God feels our pain and holds us close. He “hides us in the shadow of His wing” and sets our feet upon The Rock.

The day I heard the shocking news, I sat in my car for an hour. I went from feeling nothing, to gut wrenching pain in a matter of moments. As I was emotionally back in the touch tunnel I cried out to God. It was not a fancy prayer. In fact, it went something like, “Daddy, help!”

And He did. He turned on the night-light through a friend who prayed for me, because I had no words. He held my hand in the darkness as He brought the truth of who He still is to my mind. He hid me in His wings as the numbness gave way to pain.

I still have no answers, and my heart still hurts for my friend’s family. I don’t know why the darkness was allowed this temporary victory. But this I do know: darkness won this battle, but God has won the war!

My sweet friend was and is a child of God. She had given her heart to Jesus and knew that she was forgiven. His blood covered her sin: past, present and future. She is His and He is hers. (I can still say “is” because she is with Him right now).

We are still left in the dark in so many ways, but we cling to The Light. I pray that good will come from this. Let’s pray earnestly for transparency in relationships, especially in the body of Christ. I’m so not perfect and neither are you. Let’s be real with each other. Let’s ask “How are you?” and mean it! And let’s not be afraid to answer that question honestly!

Let’s earnestly pray that the church will lead the way in addressing and helping to provide for those with mental illnesses and emotional pain. It is a complicated and highly debated subject, but Jesus never ever avoided complicated and debated subjects. We live in a broken world and have to acknowledge that brokenness affects all of creation, including human bodies and minds. Let’s follow our Savior’s example and not judge, but love.

And let’s shine the light of Jesus into each other’s lives. You never know when someone is groping through the darkness, unable to SEE in front of them. We can shine the light of love and of truth into the darkness as we remember and reflect on who God is.

Just as Mary Magdalene discovered early one Sunday morning as she wearily walked to a garden tomb thinking that darkness had won; there will be times when the darkness will win a battle, but praise God, we have a victorious risen King who has already won the war!

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (and the darkness) I will fear no evil, for You are with me…..” Psalm 23:4

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

“He restores my soul….”Psalm 23:3

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.”