One of my favorite music albums is Steven Curtis Chapman’s The Glorious Unfolding. Steven writes these songs from his own raw, vulnerable, and painful suffering. He has walked the dark roads of intense suffering and questioning. He has personally experienced deep grief. And he has found God to be faithful and the hope of Heaven to be very comforting.
As I was listening and singing along to his song Take Another Step this morning in my mommy-van, I was reminded of several steps that I’ve taken along my personal grief journey. God has been so faithful to me as well and Heaven grows sweeter each day.
But taking another step in the middle of deep pain and suffering is not easy. AT ALL. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt that I couldn’t keep pushing through the fog. I’ve wanted to quit and give up on so many days. I’ve cried more tears than I ever dreamed possible. I’ve felt numb but yet so sensitive to people, places, and memories. Many days it has seemed near to impossible to crawl out of bed, take a step into my kitchen, or get dressed to care for my family. Yet, I am making it. . .one step at a time. I am moving from my emptiness to His fullness. . .little by little. And I am loving God more with each day. . .as I daily take steps into His light. Continue reading Take Another Step→
In November of 2015, I had the privilege to speak at a ladies conference in NC. I have shared these sessions with a few friends in my church who encouraged me to post them on the blog. I pray that God will use these words to strengthen and encourage your own heart. God has certainly been faithful in my own life and continues to move my life from “empty to full.”
Friendships. . .they take a lot of intentional effort and time to build. But they are so, so worth it! When I think of the many friendships I’ve had throughout my life, I find they are usually connected to a specific season of my life. Not always is this the case, but friendships can often change with a new or different season of life for me or my friend.
I have found that in my current season of motherhood (having 2 middle school kids, one elementary age, and 2 preschoolers), I must intentionally make time and invite friends into my life. It’s very easy to get caught up in the mundane duties of motherhood and neglect inviting others into my world. But I need friends and believe it is God’s idea for community among His people. I am so refreshed in my spirit and encouraged in my heart when I spend time with friends who understand the struggles of life in my season and yet remind me of the hope of the Gospel in day-to-day living. Continue reading Intentional Friendships→
Lauryn, with a terrified look on her face, climbed apprehensively into the dentist’s chair. She knew what was ahead. She had been through this before!
Having four teeth pulled was no joy-ride. It was rather horrific to a ten year old girl who struggles very much with fear of pain.
As I gently held both of her hands in mine, I winced in my own heart as she strangled my fingers with her death grip. I knew she was terrified! As her tears began to flow freely into the sides of her hair, my own tears welled up within my eyes. As she tried to resist the pain and endure the struggle to remain in that chair, I thought of how often I try to resist pain. Pain that I know in my mind will be worth it. But pain that my heart can barely seem to endure. Continue reading The Dentist & My Father’s Love→
Exactly three years ago this weekend, the darkness was falling fast into my life. I was headed into a darkness that I had never experienced before or even realized existed. I showed up at the Georgia home of my parents, per my dad’s request to come help out with mom. Mom’s depression was beginning to reach a deep low. Dad was at a loss and needed reinforcement, rest, and encouragement. Mom needed love, care, and gentleness. We all needed God’s grace. Continue reading When Darkness Falls→
A few weeks ago, a friend and I were texting back and forth concerning a difficult family situation she found herself in. After encouraging her heart to trust the Lord and follow Biblical principles, I received her text that read something like this. . .”Thanks for your help. It’s all such a struggle. It just makes me long so for Heaven.”
Don’t we all feel this way at times if we are honest? The struggles of this life threaten to overwhelm us. We get tired of fighting the battles of faith day in and day out. We long for the day when it’s not so hard anymore to obey the Word and submit our fleshly desires to His.
I understand why she made this comment. Many times we are locked into extremely difficult situations, we are dealing with hurtful relationships, and we feel we are sinking under the daily pressures of life. I find myself often longing for Christ’s return and the hope of Heaven where “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore.” (Rev. 21:4)
While it’s not wrong to think of Heaven and long for our future hope (Christ tells us to “set our minds on things above, not on things that are on earth”- Col. 3:2), we must remind our hearts to live in the grace He gives us for now. We must not miss the opportunities for grace that God offers to us in this present life. Continue reading Grace for Now→
It is one of my favorite times. It is one of my hardest times.
It is a time of sweet and precious memories. It is a time where I find myself now having to purposefully create many new memories.
I eagerly look forward to spending time with extended family and friends. But I deeply miss the presence of my mom (in Heaven) and my dad (in Uganda). The new normal of Christmas isn’t always easy for me.
I often find myself so full of joy in the Christmas season. Yet some days of this holiday season I struggle to breathe when my heart aches with grief and weariness. Continue reading Christmastime Hope→