God Continues to Amaze Me


It was one year ago today that I made the courageous decision to step away from my job.  The truth is, part of that decision wasn’t even mine. God put up several barriers that made it obvious, over a short period of time, that He had a different plan. Here I am – one year later – aaaaand no job. When I quit or threw in the proverbial towel (as it feels more appropriate to say), my expectation was that God would drop a new, “better” job in my lap. Sadly, God has made it obvious that I’m not the one in charge, nor does He care what I think is best.  Further confirmed by Isaiah 55:8, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.”

As I reflect back, I am in awe of all he has done in and through my life these past 12 months and oh how I will cherish this unplanned, unwanted professional sabbatical for the rest of my life. I have had the privilege of capturing memorable moments with my two daughters; one going off to College today (YIKES) and the other who needed me to “Uber” her butt all over the place until she got her drivers license last month. From spontaneous Sushi lunches and desert binging afternoons coupled with impulsive shopping sprees, I have loved and will forever treasure those special moments. When they say time speeds up, they are so not kidding when kids hit high school… Where did the time go?

In addition, I have been blessed all year with no pressure, no rush time in my bible and the ability cross reference other versions, commentaries and sources; I know I have gained greater depth and insight and my relationship with God has grown more intimate.  It’s been fun to, daily, have my dogs sleeping on my legs, enjoying long walks and endless puppy play times. I have invested in relationships that I treasure deeply and I have been able to mend some of the bridges in relationships had been neglected from being over committed and busy in the past. I felt like a hypocrite leading a Women’s Bible Study this past summer about taking a Sabbath to enjoy a more balanced life and when I was the busiest, it was because of charities and people in need whom benefited from my open/flexible calendar. My fulfillment barometer has overflowed.

On the flip side, this year has had it’s share of disappointment and more than my fair share of rejection letters (I’m refusing to count them all until God opens the door to wherever He is leading me), but it has been quite a walk on a tight rope to balance my faith, patience and contentment, while battling (almost daily) with the flood of emotions that would easily overwhelm me with feelings of insecurity, inadequacy and self-defeat.

I still have no idea where or when this journey will end, but I know I’m a better woman for having been through it. So let me turn this into a message that will encourage your heart.

  1. Don’t doubt God. Even when there are no answers or easy explanations as to why you are going through something you didn’t plan for, remind yourself that He is God and He has the better plan.
  2. Keep Moving. It would have been easy to stay in bed longer and roll to the couch in self-pity, but that’s not good for anyone; especially me.  I committed to getting up early (usually 5AM) for devotional time, exercise or have coffee/walks with friends. I feel great and I’ve even shed some unwanted weight. That, in and of itself, has given me even more energy.
  3. Stay positive and be grateful. If I spent too much time on stinkin’ thinkin’, what a mess I would be. Instead, I would take inventory of all the things that I am grateful for and the obvious blessings in my life that can easily be overshadowed at any given moment. That mindset shift alone is a powerful tool for success.
  4. Don’t dwell on the what-ifs or why-nots? These questions have no definitive answers and at the end of the day, they rob you of faith that God ultimately has a plan and a purpose for your life. Our minds were created to seek answers, be inquisitive, rationalize or find logic in things. Since we can’t change the past and we can’t get a do-over to do whatever “what-if” scenarios you muster up, it’s just a waste of time and energy. Be forward thinking, learn from the past, but move on!
  5. Look for opportunities. Opportunities to lean in and support friends who are going through a difficult time, feed the homeless, volunteer at the jail, serve at church or join a committee that can benefit from your talents and your time. I can’t emphasize enough the unbelievable shift in your perspective when you walk alongside of or intentionally spend time with those who are much, much worse off than you. It is the most humbling place to be and you are blessed far, far more than you are a blessing to those to whom you serve.

Keep reading and following. I hope to inspire you in the Lord and I thank you for being a spectator to my life’s journey.

For Audio:



5 Ways You Are Growing Spiritually

Woman hand in jail

Upon finishing an hour of women’s bible study at the local county jail, I got in my car, rested my forehead on my steering wheel and reminded myself to breathe. My heart was heavy as my mind replayed all of the conversations from the past hour and each woman’s face returned to my mind. With a huge sigh I silently prayed, “Lord, let them have ears to hear what You needed them to hear.”

Then my thoughts shift to, “Did I say the right thing?”, “I should have told them…”, and “Oh no! I completely forgot to say…”.

“STOP! What am I doing?” I then realized that I am pridefully limiting God. It’s like I have a Doctor Jekyll – Mr. Hyde conversation quarreling in my head. Regardless of what I should have, could have and might have said, God can use it; I have a confident faith that he will use it, but Satan certainly wants me to feel defeated and stop this jail ministry non-sense, trying to convince me that it’s a fruitless waste of time.

It’s a battle of the mind and I consciously have to take my thoughts captive and cancel out negativity, redirecting my critical heart to prayer, “Lord, I know you were there and whatever I did right use it for your glory, whatever I inadvertently excluded, give them a hunger and a thirst for your truth.”

Why is this a big deal? To be transparent, my love language is affirmation. If there is one place on this earth that you won’t get a pat on the back or an “Atta girl” for doing a good job – it’s jail. As I drove away, continuing to mentally duke it out, I felt a peace come over me; a peace in the confidence that God’s word spoken in that hour were seeds that God can use to grow. Claiming victory in this head conversation made me realize that I have grown Spiritually and I thought I would share this and other observable spiritual growth examples with you.

  1. God Fills The Gaps

This is progress for me. For so many years I gave myself a report card on my performance (for everything) and I inevitably came up short every time. Sure it earned me an impressive resume, some level of popularity and a cocky confidence that all of my combined achievements would somehow impress God because I was diligently using all the talents that He gave me and achieved certain levels of success. I now know that it was unimpressive to God. God created me a workman for His good works (Ephesians 2:10), not the other way around. When I was in achievement, advancement and self-improvement mode, what I was really doing was idolizing the world; chasing after false gods and ultimately building a pedestal that only esteemed me, not God. Oh how I used all of this ambition and missed the whole point. Yet, he used these things (success, achievement, accolades and rewards) as a way to show me that my way only reaps discontentment, burn-out and defeat. There is a gap between my ability and His and I now recognize that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Matthew 11:30)

2. It’s Not About Me

Any control freaks out there? I’m a recovering control freak thanks to Christ. I have come to realize that not only can’t I control everything, but when I do try I am just getting in God’s way. God gave us His Word with instructions on how to live. If I try to create an outcome or impose what I think is best for the situation, that now sends me a red flag. If I force my kids to play a certain sport, instrument or take certain classes because I think it will help them get better grades, earn scholarships or help them get admitted to a better college – I’m causing interference in God’s plan. He knows what is best for them and if I trust Him (like I tell Him and others that I do), then I need to pray for my kids, but I shouldn’t tell God what “I think” is best for them. In the end, I don’t know God’s big and mighty and sovereign plan for their lives and chances are whatever He’s up to is going to be 10x better than I could ever ask for or imagine.

3. God uses ordinary people

If we collected the resumes of the twelve disciples we would realize they didn’t “qualify” to be in Jesus’ inner circle. Truth is, neither are we. That is what is so beautiful. If we bring Him our whole heart and let Him do the work; on us, in us and through us. What has truly baffled me lately is how many people and situations God has placed me in now that I surrender my will. I see ways to serve people EVERYWHERE. At the grocery store, at church, at work, on the streets and in my neighborhood. I just have to make myself available for Him to do His work. John MacArthur, in his 6/26/2017 sermon titled, “The Necessary Components of Saving Faith”, he says, “The longer I’ve been a Christian the more I realize that I don’t do anything for the Lord. I not only don’t do anything for the Lord, but I can’t do anything for the Lord and the wonder of wonders is that the Lord can do what he does through ME!” Me! That statement completely turns my idea of service for God upside down, or should I say right side up?

4. Stop the Stinkin’ Thinkin’

God’s plans are not our plans (Isaiah 55:8) and sometimes I find myself feeling a bit defeated when outcomes don’t happen the way I expect them to or (maybe worst) has fast as I expect them to happen. I am a happy person by nature, but I have to admit, if you could spend even an hour in my head you would be shocked at the negativity. It’s grumbling mostly. Thoughts of hating my clothes, wishing the kids would put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, or questions like, “Why can’t they… [fill in the blank].” Because of scripture, I can re-think these thoughts and put them into a healthier, more positive, perspective. Thoughts of blessings for the roof over my head, clothes in my closet and a wash machine to keep them clean. Instead of wishing for my kids to be responsible enough to clean up after themselves, praising God for good health, the ability to serve them and knowing I’m honoring God by not nagging and complaining about it. Then the question elimination. If I find myself asking why questions for things that are not done, are inconvenient for me or causes me to search for answers that only God really knows, I just submit and accept that the why comes back to why I would want it or expect it to be another way. If they don’t want a clean house, but I do, guess who can take the steps to keep a clean house? Me! So if it’s important to me, I can just do it and feel like it’s my act of service, demonstrating my love for them.

5. I’m Not a Prisoner to Satan

He made me perfect. What artist shows up to an easel an plans to do a mediocre job? Not one. Artists show up to create a masterpiece and that is exactly what God did when he created us, but Satan doesn’t want us to believe that. He fills our minds with self-doubt and plants lies. Those ladies in the jail that I minister to may be behind bars, but the devil entraps us in a prison cell of our own. Bondage to never having enough, being enough, making enough or anything enough. BUT WE ARE! God says that he knows every hair on our head and in Ephesians 1:11-12 Paul writes, “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.”

It doesn’t get any better than that my friends. It doesn’t get any better than that.

His truth produces growth, transformation of character, renewing of our minds and strength to overcome. So read, grow and see that the more you love Jesus, the more clear and content you will be.