Live free: Pray a simple prayer

deckocean

You see other people who seem like prayer superstars. You imagine their knees crisscrossed and scarred.

You want the same. 

You kneel and close your eyes and suddenly you struggle with sleepiness.

Or you think about your grocery list and the thought that you need milk won’t leave your brain.

Which leads you to struggle with guilt . . . the exact opposite of where you hoped prayer would lead.  [Read more…]

To live free: get to the real source of your hurt

orange

I turned my head to look out the window.

“What’s wrong, babe?” my husband asked.

“I don’t like how I’m feeling,” I whispered.

I’m not easily offended, but there it was. Sitting on my chest and in my heart like a hundred-pound bag of sand. [Read more…]

To live free: when you are anxious

fearnot

Sometimes out of the blue I’m anxious.

It’s not outright panic.

But it is fear. 

My heart speeds up. Breathing is suddenly something I’m conscious of.

Fear doesn’t always make sense, but it doesn’t make it any less real.

How do we live free in the face of anxiety?

It might look different for you.

Maybe it comes as you hold that crying child, or as you lie wide awake beside your spouse. Maybe it’s when you take a big step of faith and you’re afraid you’re going to fail. There’s just enough truth in that anxiety to cause you fear.

Anxiousness takes root and doubt tries to follow.

[Read more…]

Live free: Give out of your healing

waterfall

 

“I was incredibly lost,” she said.

Sexually abused as a little girl, her anger didn’t surface until she was an adult. She didn’t understand that her choices in men were tied to a little girl who just wanted to be loved. She married and that man became her security.

One day her security left and she stumbled into depression.  [Read more…]

Live free: Love more, give more

unsplashsolitary

“What is  your favorite color?” my friend MarLo, asked.

“Green,” I said. “Like grass.”

And then I forgot about it.

Later MarLo handed me a beautiful green bag with a green ribbon and green tissue paper.

Grass green. Just like I love. 

Inside was a custom green pen created and designed by her husband.

I’m a Bic kind of girl, so this is a treasure. I am in awe of the thoughtfulness behind this beautiful, oh-so-personal gift.  I carry it with me to book signings. I keep it close.

But this isn’t just about a green pen.

MarLo’s story isn’t one that is easy. In fact, Marlo has lots of reason to not give. To not love more. Her story is filled with heartbreak and expectations unmet.

It’s one of hanging on to Jesus when the answer isn’t coming anytime soon.

[Read more…]

Live free: Do good instead of harm

words

I want to laugh and love and impulsively grab the moment.

But I also want to live as if my words and choices matter.

Because they do. [Read more…]

Live free: Stre–ttttch beyond your comfort zone

comfort zone

I used to own a pair of comfy shoes.

Pointy-toed and sparkly with just the right amount of heel. They looked great with a nice pair of jeans. And when I traveled, they felt like slippers as I walked through the airport.

The ends of both pointy tips — if you looked close — were fraying.

The cushion in the sole had slid sideways so I glued them. Everything about them said that it was time to buy a new pair of shoes.

Except I loved these shoes. [Read more…]

Live free: You don’t have to be braver than you feel

trees

I received some news last month. I didn’t see it coming and I didn’t know what to do with it.

S0, I just kept on going.

Isn’t it funny how we do that?

A friend and I were walking in the morning and the news finally spilled from my lips.

She stopped and took me by the shoulders. “What are we doing? We need to pray!”

I loved that I didn’t have to be brave for her. That I didn’t have to put on a good front. It was okay to say that I didn’t see this news coming, and that it was bigger than me.

Later that week I sat on the floor. Sun spilled through the windows. I put my head in my hands and I was honest with God, just as I had been with my friend.

Lord, I don’t have the right words to say.

I don’t feel brave today. Maybe tomorrow I will, but for now I’m coming up empty.

It was okay to allow Him to be strong for me.

To live free: You don’t have to be braver than you feel. 

You don’t have to have all the answers.

God knows what we need before we even ask.

I don’t know about you, but that makes His presence a place I run to, rather than away from when life gets big.

Is your bravery running low today? Climb into that safe place where you don’t need words.

Suzie

 

To live free: Get real with God and with others

Scripture: Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. .Matthew 6:6-10a (The Message)

Today: Maybe you’ve been avoiding God because you think you should have answers, or at least the words to share your need. Sit in His presence. He knows what you need before you even ask.