Go free dear human heart…

Happy St. Patty’s Day to you! Maybe you celebrate it? It’s my birthday so I’ve always been fond of it – though I’m not wearing green today. I’m actually wearing red. For my birthday I’m sharing from a place of struggle over how to let my heart find space to grow and go free. Maybe there is a piece of this struggle we share and if so I hope you are blessed. This post is part of the audio series I aim to send out by email each month. If you would like to hear the audio version of this post or read a bit of what prompted me to write this, you can subscribe at the bottom of this post. Thank you so much for being here today. The time you spend here means so much to me.


Like a young river finding a way to forge its own path, is the human heart finding a way to go free. She must go free.

Without her freedom, the heart walks alone.

To walk alone through a valley without one friend who knows just where you are – perhaps these are some of the hardest valleys we walk. The pain that has never been spoken. The hopes you’ve never shared. The struggle that has never been revealed to a single soul. And hurts can pile up and scars don’t just go away and learning how to trust can be the scariest thing in the world. The human heart can feel the most lonely ache in the world when it cannot find a way to let its nature go free.

I was twenty-one years and I was in this valley. But all the while I never knew that you who laid beside me in bed every night were walking the very same valley. We never had to walk it alone. But we did for too long.

I think part of the reason we finally took the risk of letting our our hearts find some freedom in front of each other was because we could feel something unspoken.

Somewhere in the darkness, I think my spirit was saying it to you begging you to know. And somewhere in your silence I think I could feel it coming from you too. This plea that was not yet spoken with your words, but somewhere in your eyes, somewhere inside your touch it was there. It was there because I could feel you say it, because it was true.

I could feel your heart speaking to mine, begging me to know that if there was something crazy in my heart, you had a crazy-something too.
That if that something was too dark of a struggle, yours was that dark a struggle too.
That if I ever felt alone, I didn’t have to wonder if you had a secret yourself.
Because your eyes told me…  that you were human just like me.

The human heart is wild like that.

And for every bit of my heart that I’m afraid to let you see, you love me there and you ask me to show you more. And even when I don’t understand how you still love me, I know I can trust you. You have helped me find a boldness to tell you the things in my heart that can hurt you. Because you have convinced me that you are as human as I am and you have taught me that you love me so deeply that you value being closer to me even if it means you feel all the hurt I can bring.

You help me get a start at going free.

Now I know I can be bold with you. And if a husband is told to love his wife like Christ loves the church you have done that and in doing so you have taught me more about the way Jesus loves me than I have ever known. I’ve been told of Love, but Love can never be explained well enough with words. And after all of the love you’ve shown me, after all the ways you’ve treasured me in my humanity, it lets me feel this whisper.

The Spirit of God uses you, speaks to me through your Love.

And while I’ve always claimed to know that I could come to Jesus in the middle of my mess, I never had come to Him in my mess the same way that I’ve learned I can come to you, my husband.

Jesus uses your Love to tell me about His own. And though I can’t hear His heart, I can feel it through you…

He uses your humanity to speak to my heart… begging me to know when I am tempted, that he has been tempted like this too.
That when I long for my heart to be known, He knows the longing too.
That if I ever cry out for love from the darkest of places, He knows this cry even deeper.
He uses your Love to tell me… He was human too.

As hard as it is for us to admit to each other that we are human, Jesus, you said it first. You let yourself be the human that none of us wanted to admit to and claimed the wild human heart.

You identified with us.

You say it with words in our Bible that you have been tempted in every way and understand all of our weakness. Heb. 4:15-16.

You ask us to come bold into your own presence. And even if I come bold to you with my struggle right after the struggle has taken place, I am still putting limits on how bold I can be with you.

Maybe all you ask of me is that I dare to be as bold with you as I am with my own husband. Because maybe a mind fixed on you isn’t a mind that is strong enough to say no, maybe it is a mind that exposes each wild feeling to you as it comes and finds your grace abundant. Because maybe any crazy idea brought into your presence can’t help but be shaped by You and Your love.

I wanted to have a heart with straight edges.. like a river so young and straight. But instead my heart ebbs and flows like a river that is growing. It is stubborn and beautiful finding paths I never knew it could where it’s edges are wild and glorious.
It does not have the straight edges I wanted to give you. And I wanted to hide this river’s edge from you.
But you seek out my edges, you feel every bend and you delight to send more wind to the flow of these crazy waters. I don’t understand it, but I’ll let the river flow if your heart can delight in the free ebb of my own.

Maybe I can trust that you, Jesus, delight in the wildest parts of my heart.

My humanity is my deepest insecurity. But my humanity is the very place where Your Love finds me out.

I am human too… Thank you for saying it with your life Jesus. And give us grace to say it with you in the safe place where this crazy heart can go free.

My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

3 Encouragements for Giving Wholehearted When Your Heart Wants to Melt

5 Day Guide to Offer your Gift without Losing your Heart

Hello dear Reader, The following post is something that’s been deep on my heart to share. It’s for all of us who want to be a blessing, but sometimes feel like our hearts are so messy in the middle of it. And in a way, this post is an invitation to join me in five days of sitting with this topic. However you choose to use the words below, I pray they are a blessing to your life of offering.

If you’ve ever just wished that you could offer yourself wholeheartedly but your heart just felt like melting, then I feel like we have so much in common and I’m so glad.

There was a day this month, more like a string of days, when my heart longed to be useful, to feel useful, but mostly all I felt was overwhelmed, falling short, limited, broken.

And in that place, my daughter asked me to read her a story from her children’s Bible. It was the story of the small boy with a small lunch, and for those few moments while I read it, it felt like I was that boy. It felt like Jesus saw all these pieces of my heart and still waited with a loving smile for what I had to give. And the tears came.

The beloved Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally L-J
The beloved Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally L-J

So I wrote about it and we made a video. I hope you enjoy it.

In case you’re hard of hearing the transcript for the video is provided at the bottom of this post. Below the video I’ll talk a bit more about those three things I’m still learning from that little boy and you’ll also be invited to five days of letting your heart sit with truth and encouragement as you offer what God has given you.

How do I give wholeheartedly when my heart just wants to melt? Sometimes I think I can never give wholeheartedly as long as my heart feels this way. I forget that the “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” (Ps. 34:18)

When we want to give ourselves wholeheartedly but our hearts feel all the things, here is what we can do:

1. Acknowledge the reasons our hearts feel like melting.

We are never more wholehearted than when our hearts are resting in Jesus acknowledging to Him every part of what lies inside. There is no safer place to pour out the depth of our hearts than in His own loving arms. He is the only one who can make good out of every part of what we feel inside us.

When we tell Him what our hearts are feeling, when we tell Him the things in life that overwhelm us, we acknowledge our own weakness and that weakness becomes a tool in His hands. The Bible never tells us to make our hearts invicible, it simply tells us to keep our hearts and to let Him use our weakness. (Pr. 4:23, 2 Cor. 12:9)

2. Give from our melting hearts.

We may not feel it, but we are so wholehearted coming from this place. We don’t have to have hearts that feel strong before He can use us. Because the strength of our heart does not lie in us. It lies in Him. When we don’t feel strong, we are invited to trust Him for the strength and keep on resting in the promise that He is using us.

Even when our hearts feel like they’re melting, by faith His strength holds them together and close to His own heart. Our own usefulness does not depend on our strength.

3. See Jesus meet us in the giving.  

Even as we may question ourselves, when we put our eyes on His faithfulness, our trust is not in ourselves, or in any outcome we can see, but in the simple promise that He is moving in our lives. We may not see exactly how He moves, but as we look to Him, He always meets us in the giving.

We look for Jesus in the giving and we become that little boy giving the little offering from our sack. Though our offering is so small, Jesus gives His big smile because while we don’t know just what He will do with it, though we may never even see how He does use it, He assures us with His smile… Yes, you are so useful.


If these thoughts speak to you, then I’d like to invite you to a personal, five day Bible study. I’ll share some of my own struggles in this and we’ll look at what Scripture says both about giving our offering and about how to keep heart in the ministry of life on this earth as one of His children. As children of God, there are areas where we can start to lose heart in the giving. We’ll look at five ways we can strive to keep heart even as we let our weak hearts rest in the strength of Jesus.

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Each of the five days I’ll send you a (free) PDF that includes a short intro video, devotional thoughts, Scripture study and journaling prompts / meditation for your own heart in the offering. You can sign up below if you’d like to be a part. I would LOVE for you to join me.

And whether we are offering ourselves today as parents, friends, creatives, teachers, whether we offer ourselves behind a desk or on a stage, may we all claim it together by the strength of His love, “Having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.” (2 Cor. 4:1)


Video Transcript

There is a crowd surrounding us, a swelling up of people who must surely know they’re purpose in this place. And in the midst of people, we strain to hear the One who leads. We are finding our way in the ocean of possibilities, hoping to stay afloat, our minds drifting and remembering again and again who we are here for in all the mess.

Just one in the world who can be so uncertain, we need one hope to cling to for the noise that swirls around us.

And the leading one holds a dear child close, lifts him up as treasured. What sweet joy to be that one, to be so treasured by him. Yet, the heart of the idea is slapped by a whispering accuser. Perhaps the voice is true. Perhaps my heart does want the praise of all these people. How can I deny that such broken feelings rise inside me?

But when I look up at him, he still gives his gaze my way. Still the smile rests on his face, as he seems to know what’s in my heart. Those eyes don’t look to accuse me, nor do they give one reason to stay away. I look down on what I have to give. Maybe he knows what I hold inside.

Still, I wonder. Still the courage is not inside me, but you, my friend, come close with kindness. You point me on to trust those eyes. A smidge of courage rises in me. And it is not my own. For it was sent through you.

I take a step, clutching the bag in my hand. Ducking through the field of people. For all the assurance my kind-eyed leader seems to give, there are so many calling for his attention.

Seeing a man who knows him stand quiet to the side, I make my way there. As I stand there in the presence of this man, he looks down waiting to see why I have come. My hands tremble to reach for the contents of my bag, for I know they are so small.

With such doubts inside me, I remember your encouragement friend and I look again to the One I’m doing this for. I lift my package and pull it open, to show these two small fish and pieces of bread to the man before me.

The expression on his face seems to be one that has questions too. Yet, he gives a kind smile and takes up my offering. Stepping away from me, he goes on to carry it for me. Beyond the broad shoulders of this man, there is the one who I hope can use my offering. One more time, he gives me the happiest smile I’ve seen from him.

I don’t know what he will do with my offering, but what I do know, is that smile he just gave me makes every part of this story worth it.

For all the broken feelings inside me, for all the ways my offering may be flawed, for every part of my steps to get here that were so imperfect, he treasures me and he treasures my offering.

While we paused in the questions, he already knew how he planned to use our offering. And he waited, without an ounce of judgment on us.

He waits in love for each offering from us. For we are all the little boy with our bits of bread and fish.

My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

Remarkable Faith (A Book Review)

Where I am a sheep and my Shepherd seems to call me down a path…

I follow Him, looking desperately for assurance of the sight of His feet ahead of me. I catch an occasional glimpse of His sandals lifting from the dirt, sometimes I can even hear His staff as it falls to the ground. I ache to see His leading with crystal clarity.

Sometimes I wonder if I really did see Him there ahead of me. Sometimes I even pause in following Him because I’m afraid to trust that it really was Him, afraid I’m getting it all wrong…

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He is faithful to give me assurance on the path – a loving pat, a quiet whistle – but sometimes in the fog of everything surrounding me, I’m afraid to trust that it really was Him.

The doubts that want to rise in me call out their questions. What if this is the wrong way? What if you’re way off the path? What if what you’re following isn’t Him, but something that will only lead you into trouble? What if you misheard Him? What if when you get where He seems to be calling you, He won’t be there to meet you?

These questions had been calling out to me for weeks when I began to read the pages of Shauna’s book.

I wasn’t met with someone who told me I was ridiculous for feeling these questions. Shauna didn’t even tell me that I should go on as if I had never heard them.

She simply showed me broken people in the Bible who heard these questions too, broken people who encountered Jesus face to face. And when they met Jesus with their questions, He wasn’t disappointed. Rather, He marveled at their faith.

He didn’t tell them what failures they were for pausing at the sound of the question. He didn’t tell them to ignore the questions and get with it in following Him with haste. Jesus found value in them. Found value in the fact that they felt the questions and yet, continued on in their broken state…

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Jesus valued that they longed for Him so earnestly, valued that they were well aware how broken and sinful they were. He honored their doubts, almost as if those doubts played a major part in their faith.

Shauna’s words bring tears of healing to my heart. For I had felt guilty for listening to these questions. For my guilt, she simply shows truth through moments from Jesus’ life.

“Remarkable faith is the braided strands of doubt, hope and wonder.” – Shauna

Her book fills me up with Jesus’ love as she looks so closely at His words and actions towards the doubts of the people He met. With eight stories from the Bible, she draws me into His grace. And with words of hope she points me on down the path. The questions of doubt will come. Sometimes I’ll wonder about the path. But He is still the One I continue on for, the One who loves me in my questions and values my weak faith. He is my hope. He is why I have faith.

“Refuse to be ashamed if you come to Jesus with questions and doubts, wondering if he can and if he will. It is not always for us to know the how, the why, or the when of his work. The fact that we seek him, with questions swirling about our hearts, is evidence of the seeds of faith planted and waking up in the fertile soil of trials and trouble.” – Shauna

Shauna Letellier’s book has been such a blessing to me and I’ve so enjoyed the gift of being acquainted with such a kind writer.

I pray you’ll be met with the blessing of her words yourself. Perhaps you have a friend who would be blessed by them as well.

You can find her book through the link below and you can read more of her words by clicking here.  

My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

The grace of wait

Here is my awfully late five-minute Friday post this week. :) Wait was the word of the week and I have been thinking a lot about that word lately. I’m in the middle of waiting to meet my new baby! :) And we’re waiting to move into a new house soon. So… “The grace of wait” because it’s so hard to just relax and enjoy the wait, but its in the rest of the wait that we find the grace of it…

The summer break, the graduation, the first date, the wedding day, the first house, the baby’s birth, beautiful things that come with a waiting period. And it seems like the days won’t go fast enough, and I want to pass the waiting by. And each time the day comes, and the wait is over, the thing so sought after points back to the beauty, the value of the time spent waiting. Waiting days are glory days too. Because the beauty can always be traced to the wait.

And that most beautiful of all, the wait for the Christ. The longing of souls to know God’s promised day, to be set free from slaving after law. When this world breathed out the great sigh, the relief that meant rest, joy, Love. It’s the great wait of our world, the long hope, that makes that sigh the most beautiful sound. And the story comes, the Gospel, and it points us always back to the wait, the wait that was all along a part of the story.

Wait is itself a grace that gives us the blessing, the ability, to see the wonder of grace. The wait our spirit went through before our soul knew salvation personally, the wait to see each measure of grace He gives, each gift He gives, is another grace He is giving. And we are blessed to know the grace in the long expectancy, looking for the grace He still has in store. Wait is grace, God pouring a glorious story on our lives, a story that we are given the grace to share, grace that gives even flesh the chance to be a light for His glory.

All children of God see that wait for which the whole creation now groans. (Rm 8:22) “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved, Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Rm 8:23-25) Here in the patient rest, the sure hope we wait for, we are free to know the grace. Though the redemption of our bodies will be much better, we have this joy to experience the grace and patience He gives in Loving His children who still exist inside fallible flesh. And in living this life that is all a wait, we are shown the beauty of the truth that to live this life of wait is Christ. (Phil 1:21) 

Linking up to Kate and the rest of the blogs at Five-Minute Friday here: http://katemotaung.com/2015/01/29/five-minute-friday-wait/

My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

Tell Your Story

Sometimes, I make little of my life and my testimony because I feel like I’m not all that important. And I’m viewing grace the wrong way. As much as I might say I believe in God’s grace I’m not living by faith in it. Because when I don’t share my story, out of my own feelings of inadequacy, I’m acting as if the work of grace in my life were my own, when it’s all His. Making much of His work of grace in me is making much of Him.  


So, then, if I am small enough to see my life as His, small enough to place the faith of my moments in His grace, my memories of how God has changed me, will not seem small to me because of how much more I think He’s done in someone else’s life or because of how unimportant I feel or because I don’t want to bother people with these details of my life. Rather, this remembering will cause me to be enraptured in praise to Him, because for no reason, but His Love, He has chosen to work in my life to change me in crazy and wonderful ways when if He hadn’t I would still be stuck in the rut that I was and blind to the grace He wanted to show me. And how can I not share something as beautiful as that?


I think God paints the most beautiful portraits of His glory on the canvas of people. Because as beautiful as a sunset or the wonders of the galaxy, these cannot match the beauty of God’s grace poured on a person’s life. This portrait is harder to see than the sunset. It requires looking through dirty windows because we’re all framed in flesh. But when we take the time to look past the dirt, God does miracles. Because we are Loved by a God who reaches through dirty windows to touch one life with the beauty of another.


I want to write and tell you my story because I’m a canvas for God’s beauty and I want to hear yours because you are too. Please do tell and we can all try our best for now to be content looking through dirty windows.

The stories of our lives are beautiful simply because they’re God’s stories written in us. We all tell them imperfectly because our versions of the story are written by us, people with flesh, but these are our testimonies. And God uses testimonies. He draws from your story, from my story and He makes more beauty in other stories. Let’s share the beauty and not let the fact that we share it imperfectly keep us from boasting in the beauty our God has made.   

My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

This Day: Sharing the Unplanned

This day. Here in Sachse, it was wet and cold, the day spent indoors with the books and the blocks, coloring pages and mommy chases. And afternoon rest brought unexpected, the new friend of the day who talks of grandbabies, printers, coat zippers. And I share this day outside of the normal circle of family, simple talk as we work. And simple talk touches a soul. And two souls working together do each other good. Some kind of soul nourishment, a sort of fresh outlook on life because we saw it in some tiny fraction through the window they look through. And it looked different and interesting and we saw some of the beauty they see.

I shared this piece of my day with this lady, but all in all how very many people in this world I share the same sun with. And I go about another day, another week without sharing some simple talk, some unplanned part of my day with one of them. I don’t look to be blessed by the beauty they see, because I’m not looking for beauty anyway. After all, if one word can stand as the essence of beauty its Love. And if anyone in this world can see Love its a child of God. The cashier at the store, the writer of that article, the postman, if I see before them the Love I’ve been shown, Love covers all my criticisms and my shy fears, and simple soul talk will not be something I have to remind myself to do. It will be the natural and joyous search of my soul for the beauty that God has placed into each and every one of these people. Loving a world of people is an exciting opportunity to a soul who looks at that world through the lens of the Love and the grace they’ve received. 

Linking up to Kate at Five-Minute Friday and the many other people writing on the word share this week. :)


My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

When God’s Love is Hard to See

I finish up Judges wondering why. (Judges 19-21) I see the traveling man and wife, the group from Benjamin’s tribe who wanted to rape that man, and the man who offered them his wife to rape instead. I see the wife raped and abused, dying on the doorstep and the man who didn’t bother to find his wife there until the next morning. I see the war done in vengeance for that crime with no blame to the man who saw no need to protect his wife. I see the tens of thousands of Israelites that died in that war before it was finally won, and the 25,000 + Benjaminites and their families that died for the crime of a few. I see the virgins from Jabesh-gilead whose entire tribe and families were killed, so they could be given, whether they liked it or not, to be wives to the Benjaminites who were left alive. And I see the daughters of Shiloh who were kidnapped for the same purpose. I read it all and I am bothered. Because, really, its hard to read that, especially in God’s own Word, about God’s own people Israel, and see the God of this story as a God of Love. And I finish my reading talking to God in frustration, asking Him why this would happen, why this would be in His Word, and how this applies to my life at all?

And He bids me slow down and chew on these words of His a little longer. And maybe it’s partly for the bother I feel over not being able to see God’s Love easily that God had me read this now. Maybe He wanted me to feel that bother to prompt me to go searching for what the Bible says is the only proof I’ll ever need of God’s Love. Because that is what it made me do. To look through the lens of the truth I’m given in the rest of Scripture. To know that He is a just God as the story attests when He commands the Israelites to war with Benjamin. He is just and sovereign, but He is also Love itself. (1 Jn 4:16) He Loves the world and He cares for its individuals. Just as He sees the sparrow (Mt. 10:29-31) and just as He saw the mother of the people who would become the enemy of His own people, (Gen. 16:13) He saw with Love and cared for each person involved in this story. He cared deeply for that woman dying on the doorstep, for the virgins taken from their families, and for the uncaring husband. And, even though, in that story I do not see them experiencing God’s Love, because of the words of 1 John, I know that each one of them was promised the only true proof of God’s Love whether they accepted it or not.  

From the bother I felt over this story, these words in 1 John that I’ve read time and time again speak volumes:

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

“By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.” (1 Jn 4:9-10, 13-17)

God’s Love may not be shown to us in the circumstances we experience in life, but the circumstances we go through have nothing to do with the one true demonstration of God’s Love. The only proof necessary for us to have surety in God’s Love is the truth in 1 John 4:9:   

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.”

It was through this one thing that God did all He needed to show us He truly Loved us, through sending His Son to give us life. He showed me that truth when He died for me, and He showed those Old Testament people that truth in His promise from the beginning (Gen. 3:15) that the Savior was coming. If I can cling to this truth that He died so I could live than nothing else matters. This alone fills life with Love.

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.” (1 Jn. 4:16) I am given all I need to rest here: He Loves me. And every life, no matter how sinful, no matter how battered, has been extended welcome by the God of Love who offered us grace and life.

Blessings to you from me. Would be delighted if you’d give a visit to the blogs of these sweet people at the Five-Minute Friday community writing on the word welcome this week. :)



My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

When Christmas Preparations are still Unfamiliar

This will be my fourth Christmas since graduating high school, my third since getting married, my second since becoming a mommy. All the talk about the hustle and bustle of Christmas is still so unfamiliar to me.

The Christmas decorations we’ve collected in our couple years of marriage took up a small corner of the china cabinet. It took a few minutes to put them out and I enjoyed each one. We were so excited to get our Christmas tree last year. It folds out easy. I love to watch Amayah play with the bells we hang on it.

We like to make gifts and will probably do our December 23rd run to buy the last gifts. I have two gifts ready, and some homemade gift ideas I’m excited to put together.

I will probably make a couple dishes to take to Christmas parties. I have a replacement idea for Christmas cookies that I can’t wait to make.

We may make a short trip to Oklahoma, but besides that we’ll stay in town.

Christmas preparations still are so enjoyable. And that’s probably because I don’t have many responsibilities, and I’m young, and the preparations are still new and fun to me.

And the hustle bustle talk from every which way seems out of place, and sometimes I wonder if I’m missing something.

But thinking on that makes me stop and see the opportunity I have here in life where Christmas easily seems so much more of a joy than a hustle. I have more time to celebrate the Savior and anticipate the season. Time to enjoy His gift, enjoy my family and savor the memories.

And there is where my preparations are undone, and I find that I am still focusing on the doing. And maybe my busy doing isn’t that Christmas bustle, but a different doing. Still I need that hustle bustle talk.

I do, and I like my doing and I like to think about how I’m doing it for Him. And I become focused on it and again I lose sight of the main thing.

Tchividjian’s statement turned me inside out when I first heard it. He talked about the danger in training our children “to obsess more over their feats for Jesus than over Jesus’ feats for them.” (From the forward to Give Them Grace, by Elise Fitzpatrick) I had thought it a good thing when my feats for Jesus are what I want to focus on the most. But I poured more of myself into my good thing than into the best thing, that of gratefully receiving, celebrating His gift. And I still tend too. 

And God knew how I needed all those reminders that I named out of place, to point me to the gift, to tell me to lay more aside of the giving that I feel so important and just treasure the gift. 

My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

To the God who Gives Story

Sometimes, regardless of how wonderful my life really is, I struggle so to find the motivation to try to dwell as anything other than overwhelmed, confused, lost as to how to do life. But even then, You give story. You create life in me that is used to point to true glory, and I am made a useful piece of Your big story. Because You form the world’s story with the pen of Your grace, a story that had no right to be. Your fingers trace each piece to create the people who never would’ve known life and the beauty You create, without the grace you give. Your grace gives us being and privilege to experience the power of a God who upholds the galaxies with the word of His power. And You give each one out of the billions their own unique story, their own unique way to experience You. Your grace gives orchestration to the stories within the stories within this story of the world. You have planned each note we play and oversee the beauty of it all to display Your glory perfectly and all in grace, grace that makes art, and allows me to be part of it all. Gracefully, lovingly, You’ve weaved us into Your plan to make us a part of Your glory. And here in a confused moment of my story, where You are making yourself the hope and stay to a soul that has none of its own inspiration to hope, I stand blessed, blessed to be here and live this word of the story that is at the mercy of the pen of Your grace. Because even if everything else confuses me, I can hold to the knowledge that this moment I’m living has a purpose in the story to point in some way to You.

I’m linking up to Kate and the Five-Minute Friday community. Please enjoy some sweet inspiration about the word give. :)


My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

Step into the Canvas

Taking much longer than five minutes just to think of how to start this post. Notice is the word of the day at Five Minute Friday. And I am somewhat at a loss to write anything about this as my own because I’ve been so inspired by fellow bloggers today to think on the things God has left in my life to notice. I will simply be sharing thoughts that originated with others today. So, the things God has given today to be noticed: 

To notice the way He’s placed glimpses of His beauty in every part of my day, like all the birds swirling outside my kitchen window today. 

To notice the people He uses to touch my soul, to etch His story of grace into my life and leave me never the same. 

To notice the opportunities He gives to paint the world with the Love that lives in me. He uses the little things.

To notice the ways He’s left for me to live His beauty in my every day, to leave pieces of His beauty in the world around me.

To notice the way He pours grace into my daily life, painting portraits of His Love with every day of my story.

To notice the one Gospel gift He wants most for me to notice, that its grandeur goes so much farther than the day of my salvation, that each moment is an opportunity to step into the canvas of His graceful masterpiece to experience the depths of that gracious Gospel story.    

And quoting one I’ve been so inspired by today, to notice "how He manages it all, with grace and steadiness.“ To notice who He really is, in spite of all I am. 

(I was quoting Katie Reid who’s sweet blog you can read here: http://www.echoesofmyheart.com/tww-blog/the-notice-five-minute-friday-prompt

One more quote to close out. I Love Emily Freeman’s book concept and I’ve never even read it. Art references in this post are inspired by her, and this final thought is hers: To notice ”the art in a quiet word, a hot dinner, a made bed, a grace-filled glance, and a million other ways of experiencing God in the world through the simple human acts of listening, waiting, creating, and showing up.“

(Give her book a look. It’s on my wishlist! Read about it here: http://www.chattingatthesky.com/a-million-little-ways/)

So here’s to noticing, to noticing the grace-handiwork of the God who made me, to seeing Him in the handiwork He graces to be made through me. To stepping full into His canvas of grace. 

And, please, consider yourself invited to speak with some sisters and be refreshed at the Five-Minute Friday community…


My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.