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…]

Live free: Give out of your healing

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“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

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“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

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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…]