The Little Word “When”

I’ve always felt a little bad for Job. Here’s this righteous man of God who’s so amazing that the Lord actually brags about him (Job 1:8 “8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”) yet everything that could go wrong goes wrong FAST! He loses everything and still remains faithful, a bit whiny perhaps, but faithful. His friends spend many chapters lecturing and criticizing him. I don’t really blame the friends though. Isn’t that our nature to decide that someone MUST have done something wrong to deserve all of the bad in their life. We are the first to jump in and criticize. Lord, help me to not be like Job’s friends. But I digress…


We know the story. In the end, God shows up and speaks out of a whirlwind revealing his awe-inspiring power and shaking earth and sky with his glory. Job, the righteous man, feels as though he is no better than the dust beneath his feet in the presence of The Holy One. Job laments that there is no mediator between this awesome God and lowly man. We read it and rejoice knowing that we have such a mediator now in Jesus Christ. The God who shakes the heaven and sees Earth tremble at the sound of His voice, loves us so much that He sent His son to make a way. That always blows my mind. Then God in His glory restores to Job twice what he’d lost to begin with.

I realized a little word I’d missed before. In Job 42:10 it says that God restored Job’s losses WHEN he prayed for his friends. Before Job was given back double, he had to forgive his annoying friends. This righteous man who would certainly be justifiably angry at his so-called friends who came against him the second calamity hit, had to be reconciled to them BEFORE his blessings came. I’d missed that little word “when” before.

If you desire the blessings and favor of God in your life, do yourself a favor and love your neighbor. When you walk in love, purity and forgiveness, there is nothing that can stop you! The blessings of God follow the believer. We don’t have to work for them or conjure them up. They are a consequence of a life lived in service. Don’t wait around and waste time looking for apologies or feeling justified having an attitude. Get over yourself and forgive and the rest will fall into place.

Okay, now the practical portion. I vividly remember being a young, hot-headed gal who thought it was a nice theory to forgive, but I couldn’t figure out how. It can be hard sometimes! Here’s my practical solution and Job demonstrated it perfectly. Pray! You may not want to. You probably won’t feel like it. If you are having trouble forgiving someone, pray for them. Keep praying for them. You don’t have to like them. You don’t have to continue to let them mistreat you. When you start praying for them, you loose the hold they have on you and forgiveness comes. It is a process. Be patient with yourself and when those feelings of anger start to rise up, push them back through prayer. It’s the most practical thing you can do. And as the Bible says in Job, when you pray, God’s blessings are released. You become free!

Who’s in Control?


Reactive, by definition is the tendency to react or to be characterized by reactance. I think most people I know fall into the category of chronic reactors. We so often relinquish control to others or our circumstances. We see it in the lives of those terrified to move because they are so afraid of what others will think. We see it in our relationships as we react in anger. We are driven by words hurled toward us by careless humans, who unwittingly (or with intent), bite with condescension or malice. We are so easily wounded and broken. We are selfish.

Ben Carson says in his book Take the Risk,

“The more rights you think you have, the more likely someone is going to infringe upon them.”

“It wasn’t until I backed off enough to take myself out of the center that I realized reactions like that [anger/negative reactions] were not signs of strength, but rather indications of weakness. Such reactions meant I was letting other people, the environment, or circumstances control me, and I decided I didn’t want to be so easily controlled. But if I took myself, my rights, my ego, my feelings out of the center, I couldn’t be.”

“Once I was able to take myself out of the equation, to look at things from other people’s perspectives and not feel that all the rights belonged to me, the things that could make me angry were suddenly few and far between.”

When we are brave enough to stop thinking about ourselves and put others first, we may find that we gain the power and the freedom that we’ve been searching for. No one can hurt us if we don’t let them. All it takes is the wisdom to know that we are loved completely and fully by the creator and we can move beyond reaction to freedom and begin to go beyond “me” to “them”. Be free today!


Prayer for Today


Lord, let my hands be ever ready to serve.

Give me your eyes to see the broken and your balm to bring comfort.

Let the voice of my will be silent when your mouth opens

Let me guard my motivations so the outflowing of my heart and hands are pure

May I never be afraid of risk or movement

May wisdom lead as I submit to follow

Let love be my beacon, strength come from my weakness, truth be my anchor and peace go before me

You increase as I find myself hidden in the wonder of your grace

Take all of me and use me

Have your way as I remain forever grateful.



Water Drops on Slab

Steady rain pelts, swift and monotonous, on the roof above me
I feel the water purify, washing away the old, carrying with it the promise of hope
Standing singularly like a monument on the horizon
Lingering long enough for me to reach
Long enough for me to believe

Hope, that droplet swiftly coming near
Waiting for me to see it
Impact, as it falls to form in my soul a place where ignition can take effect
As lightning follows the particle to the earth
A blaze begins with a solitary moment
Hope springs from the cleansing of past colliding with the promise of now.

The Map


There’s something about the promise in a morning. A new day peaks over the mountains that stood, ominous, dark, hours before. There’s opportunity inherent there. There’s hope that maybe today will bring with it all the things we’ve been searching for.

That’s why I’m making a diligent choice to sit for a moment, still, with coffee in one hand, treasure map in the other


 I may not know what adventure awaits me today but I know the means of survival are right here in my grasp, the living word of God, breathing before me

leading me.

It’s wisdom better than gold or rubies making me better.

Proverbs 8:10-11 Receive my instruction, and not silver,  And knowledge rather than choice gold; For wisdom is better than rubies, And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.”

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”



As I was cleaning up smashed strawberries and bananas off of the floor under my son’s high chair this morning, it hit me…not just the peaches he was chucking at my head…also the realization that life is messy. There’s really no way around this fact. Sure, I’m in the thick of it, with four kids at home and a full-time job and ministry obligations. There’s always something more to be done and some inner voice telling me I’m not doing it all well enough. But I think all of us have an element of “mess” in our lives. It’s that stuff that always comes back, the house, the bills, the relational problems, whatever it may be.

I, for one, tend to rail against the mess hoping if I grimace enough, it will all go away and sparkle in the radiant light of my annoyance. This approach rarely works. Go figure…The better approach would be to realize that the mess has purpose and accept it. The mess serves to make me better and if I’m better at the end of the day, then it was all worth it.

For me, the mess tends to ‘mess’ with my psyche. I am my own worst critic. Consequently, I can be so hard on myself when the mess is too grand for me to tackle in a day. Sometimes, I find myself on my knees in the morning scrubbing day old fruit like this morning, as today’s peaches fly like rockets. And that’s okay.

There’s an odd little story in 2 Kings chapter 2:23-24. Elisha was going about his day and some young dudes decided to mock him and call him “baldhead”. Elisha turns around and looks at them and curses them in the name of the Lord and bears come out of the woods and eat them up. Elisha just keeps on going to where he was headed. Weird right? I’ve heard a lot of commentary on this passage, and honestly, I never thought too much about this passage and just attributed it to Elisha being sensitive about his receding hairline. Plus, how dumb to mess with the man of God! Today, I’m thinking a little differently.

We all have those things that we are sensitive about. Mine is my inability to “properly” quell the messes that confront me. I fight with myself regularly as my internal accuser tells me I’m failing. Today, I’ve learned to stop arguing and just pull an Elisha. When the mocker comes, I can stare it down and curse it in the name of the Lord. I can do this because I know who I am. Elisha was so much more than a bald guy. I am so much more than my mess. So I can boldly stand at the edge of the woods that would seek to drag me down and bury me deep in shame and insecurity and I can call on something higher than myself to deal with the problem. I don’t need to fight my own battles, I need to rest in who I am in Christ and keep going.

I don’t know what mess is mocking you today. It could be flying peaches, anger or even addictions, but I do know this, there is a defender who loves you deeply. He will help when you call upon his name. You never have to face this life alone. I pray your day is filled with cleaning, smiles and bear calling…and those flying peaches may be sticky, but don’t let them bring you down.



Your blazing gaze,
Eyes of fire staring back at me
While I look forward toward the mark
High calling when all is lost but the pursuit of things bigger than me

All at once, undone, the treasure of earthen man, dust before the burning pillar that is your love.

Expansive and wild sweeping through the brush of my past
Making new the wasted
Giants from ashes
All I once was, bowing at the feet of the holy one
Until “mine” falls from my vocabulary
And you are all that matters

Around the Table

True Vine

The question was posed to me, “What is God doing in your life?” I don’t always have an immediate brilliant answer and maybe that’s my own pride trying to come up with a brilliant answer. Today, I thought I’d answer that question as if we were sitting around my table, coffee in hand, talking.

God is teaching me so much about myself. I am a stubborn redneck woman who has spent her life surviving the situation using whatever strength I can muster at the time. But in God’s economy, my strength is weakness. The more I try to control and ‘handle’ my circumstances, the farther I drift from Him. Lately, more than anything, He’s showing me my need. I desperately need my time with him daily. I am learning to slow down in the midst of the mornings and breathe in his word and his ways. I am learning to stop when I get in high gear and find his heart.

God is showing me that for all my knowledge, if I miss his presence, I have nothing. I’m learning that holiness is less about abstinence from sin and more about my old man burning away like chaff in the light of divine majesty. I’m learning that though I outwardly may seem blameless, if in my heart, I have an attitude, I’m not pure. I’ve prayed that God would purify my heart and create in me a woman who isn’t always so concerned with being right. Rather, I seek to be a woman who pleases God. I will bring him everything and watch him do whatever he wills. That is the key to peace.

I’m learning that the deeper I go, the more I find the simplicity of the gospel.

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets,” Matthew 22:37-40

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Most of all, I’m learning that this life isn’t about me. My marriage isn’t about me. It’s about me giving of myself, pouring out, just as Christ did for the church. If I let my pride, ego and self-preservation tendencies get in the way of that, it’s a lot more difficult. If I surrender my rights and give myself fully to the wonderful man God blessed me with and give of myself to a world in need, the rest falls into place. God takes over when I let go.

It may all sound like commonsense and I suppose it is. I find that the more you know, sometimes you have to go back to the basics to find the fullness.

I pray that God is teaching you similarly. I pray that you hear his voice as he quietly whispers to your soul. There is such freedom in his presence. Today, and everyday, I invite you to grab a cup of coffee and spend some time with him. Find his heart not just his head. Read his word. Dive in all the way and immerse yourself in his love. There is no greater treasure.