Are you following Jesus or stalking him?

following Jesus

INSIDE: Learn the difference between stalking Jesus and following Jesus, and how to make the switch. Have you ever stalked someone? Even just a little? When I was in high school, there was this guy I liked. He was a childhood neighbor that I had lost track of. It was a shock to discover, many years later, that he was a friend of a friend and attended a nearby school. I didn’t know much about the guy (we lost touch after grade 1) so I asked around. I found out a bit more about him from his friends, including his email address. And I’m super embarrassed to admit this on the internet, but I created a new email account and emailed him a few times anonymously. And NOW you know what a nut job I am. Go ahead, laugh. Please remember this was half my life ago.  Stalking means to … Read More

Yes Mama, you can be a spiritual leader in your home

Moms can be spiritual leaders too!

If you grew up in the evangelical, North American church, we were probably filled with the same teaching about a wife’s place in the home: second place. Our husbands were told to make every final decision, and to be responsible for the spiritual lives of their whole family. If they DIDN’T do that, their masculinity was questioned. Our job as wives was to be meek helpers. If we DIDN’T do that, our femininity was questioned. Can I say something without you totally freaking out? I don’t believe that anymore. And while that thinking was fully embraced in the past because it was culturally enforced, our Western world is changing, and roles are less defined now. If we try too hard to hold onto an old model, we create a new problem: I think that as moms, we have too often let our families slide far away from God because we … Read More

Why does the resurrection matter?

We talk a lot about Jesus being the substitute for us when he died on the cross, but why does the resurrection matter? When I was a child, I read a story about a boy who, through his own greed, became a dragon. He was a horrid, self-centred child, and becoming a dragon basically showed the world exactly what he was like on the inside. But as a dragon, he began to experience kindness, friendship, and love in a new way. His heart started to change. One night, he was awoken by a great lion who brought him to a pool of healing water. The boy wanted to slip in and receive relief from his dragon body. He scratched at the itchy scales, and he was surprised to find that they peeled off. Delighted, he stepped out of his old skin. But he was still a dragon.  He scratched at … Read More

The secret to true inner peace

The secret to inner peace

Un-rest (noun)  A feeling of disturbance and dissatisfaction in a person A state of dissatisfaction, disturbance, and agitation in a group of people Have you ever lived in a state of unrest? Being tugged in every direction, paperwork on every corner, appointments busting out of the calendar? It stinks to live in a state of unrest, but my friend, it is just as bad to live with a feeling of unrest deep in your soul. You know the feeling – like no matter how much water you drink or me-time you get, there’s always that parched bit of soul that never feels satisfied. No inner peace. It’s possible to live with a feeling of unrest even when we live in a state of rest. We can watch Netflix till our eyes crust over and have weekly manicure appointments, but those will not satisfy that parched bit of soul. Likewise, it’s … Read More

Bible memory for the chronically forgetful

Bible memory for the chronically forgetful

Bible memory stinks. Well, it doesn’t stink. Rather, I stink at Bible memory. It frustrates me because I have so many great ideas of verses I want to memorize, but when it comes right down to it, I…forget to get right down to it.  Sometimes I joke that I’d forget my own head if it wasn’t screwed on tight…I say it’s a joke, but deep down I know it’s the truth. I forget to memorize Scripture, but when I do get something in my head, it’s not long before I also forget what I memorized. My long-term memory seems have to have a leak. (Fun fact: I can watch a movie several times and still not remember what happened in the movie. Sometimes I don’t remember even watching it. Ask my husband about how much he loves that…) I stink at getting the Bible into my head, but I love … Read More

3 truths to remember when the storm rages

peace in the storm

Snowflakes swirled around us as we said goodnight. He brushed accumulated snow off his car, then drove away, leaving deep tracks in the road. No one else wanted to drive tonight, but he had to get home. And home was 2 1/2 hours down a dark and slippery highway. It was a weekend like any other. My fiancee had driven all afternoon on Friday to stay with my family for the weekend, only to drive all the way back home on Sunday evening. It was no big deal. We did it every weekend. Except for the snow.  An anxious chill nipped at my heart as his car disappeared into the blizzard. He’d be fine, right? He was a good driver.  The cool fingers of fear tugged their way into my mind as the hours went by. Snow piled higher on the fence and drifted across the driveway. This was a … Read More

3 ways to build a rhythm of rest into your life

Rhythm of rest

This year just about did me in. At one point I felt on the verge of some kind of breakdown, and at the other point I was just bone weary. Have you ever felt like that? Like the world is on your shoulders and if you sit down for even a minute, everything’s going to collapse? Everyone has different circumstances that bring us to that point of near-collapse. For me it was a change in work schedule, having to find and train a new teammate at church, having 2 kids in school (with all the associated library book returns and forms to sign and a weird kindergarten schedule to keep track of), a weekly piano lesson that was at an awkward time, and a toddler that dropped his naps. In the midst of all that, in the evenings I was trying to exercise four times per week, write a novel and blog twice … Read More

how to find peace in a busy world

How to find peace in a busy world

  I lay on the tufts of fresh grass, wind caressing my face, wind chimes playing their gentle tune. The sun warms my toes and thoughts wash to and fro on the sea of my invisible mind. One stray idea, plucked from the waves and held carefully, like a delicate ball of hand-blown glass. I turn it around in my mind’s eye, appraising its value. When did I get so busy?   Too busy to sit and enjoy the grass between my toes, too tired to double-bounce my boys on the trampoline, too thoughtless to even sweep the floor. What have I been doing? Many good things. I have been doing many good things. But have I done the good things to the exclusion of the best things? To spend time learning at the feet of my Lord, to worship him as the woman who spent her most precious perfume on him. What is … Read More

finding peace in the remembering

I pull the ornament out of its box, calling my son over. “See this one? This one is from mommy and daddy’s wedding. We made these for everyone who came, hanging them all on the Christmas trees. Everyone took one home, including us.” The painted glass feels warm in my hand, the black lettering just beginning to flake off. After 12 years of coming in and out of storage, it is beginning to look less shiny. After 12 years of living, a marriage looks less shiny as well. I flip over the tag that I attached to the ornament in the thrill of passion and new love. “Many waters cannot quench love, rivers cannot overwhelm it.” I inhale deeply as I remember the promises of God to me and my husband. Many things happen in life that threaten to drown out love, and the rivers of time easily chip away at the … Read More

5 ways to enjoy church as an introvert

introvert church service

Let me tell you a story… You walk into church and a greeter gives you a handshake and says welcome. There are about two hundred people milling around. They stand in groups with their backs to you, drinking coffee. None of them turn to say hello. When people do talk to you, it’s small talk and you never really know what to say. Or, if you show up just as the service is starting, you have to walk past all the eyes to go sit in the front because all the regulars have already claimed the back pews. So many eyes. In the middle of the service you have to turn around and shake hands with everyone around you, possibly engaging in more small talk or even a series of hugs. At the end of the service you are asked to stand up (in front of everyone) if you need prayer. … Read More