It’s okay to say it’s hard

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We went to the doctor’s appointment carefree. The stats weren’t too worrisome. There was a 75% chance that we’d waltz in and waltz out and get on with our life.

Afterwards Richard and I stood in the parking lot, our arms wrapped around each other.

Stunned.

Again? Really? 

When I had cancer years ago it stopped our life as we dealt with surgeries and chemotherapy and radiation and bills. Lots and lots of medical bills. Then there was the fear tangled in faith so deep that it kept us from falling off the edge.

I have scars on my body that only Richard sees that speak of that battle, but the real war was fought somewhere between my heart and my head. It was hard but it drew us close to each other and to our God.

May I please be honest with you? When we heard that we were facing cancer as a couple again, my first reaction was shock but my second a sadness so deep that it wouldn’t leave no matter how many words I prayed.

You see. This is my guy. [Read more…]

My phone wants to be bigger than Jesus

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There’s a special way to celebrate Advent. Beautiful wreaths. Colorful candles. Tiny gifts.

While tradition is beautiful, I just want to experience the heart of Advent.

Advent [ˈadˌvent]: the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.

The more I’ve tried to focus in to do just that, the more I’ve sensed the Holy Spirit asking me to be very aware of what I’m really anticipating.

And it’s not always Jesus.

It’s the arrival of a tiny ping that lets me know that I have a text, a notification, a status update, an email. It’s all of the distractions tied to my blog, my work, my calendar.

The truth is that my phone wants to be bigger than Jesus.

And sometimes I let it win.

My Advent isn’t leading me where I thought it would.

Instead of leading me to a series of beautiful traditions, it’s leading me to a quiet place to settle deep into my relationship with Him.

For the next month my phone and computer are going to get less attention as I approach Christmas and I intentionally give Jesus a lot more sacred space in my life.

Not because He needs it, but because I do. 

I’ll stop in once a week to share what God is doing, but this girl is going to take some time off to just. . . be His.

Suzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advent: So hungry for God that I can’t see straight

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This girl is hungry.

So very hungry spiritually. 

Do you feel the same way? [Read more…]

Live free: Celebrate how far you’ve come

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I don’t know if I’ll ever get there from here.

Her words are sincere. She desperately wants more of God.

Sometimes her circumstances make her feel trapped. Feeling trapped makes her say things she regrets. Those regrets make her feel as if she’ll never change.

When she looks at the final destination — feeling close to God, transformed, free — it seems a million miles away. [Read more…]

To live free: schedule in laughter

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When was the last time you laughed?

Really laughed. 

Ecclesiastes 3:4 says that there’s “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

So should we make time to laugh?

My Google calendar — all marked in red, pink, green, and purple — shows that I live a scheduled life. This week I showed up for a Twitter party (so fun!) and a weekly Bible study. I scheduled dinner with friends. I faithfully recorded hours spent on writing deadlines and ministry. I blocked out time for a baby shower, two work conference calls, and a couple hours for my annual not-so-fun visit with the doctor.

Imagine if I placed the same priority on laughter.  [Read more…]

Live free: Pray a simple prayer

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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

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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

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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…]