“Grace is not the absence of God’s high expectations. Grace is the presence of God’s power.”

You know the story of The Giving Tree? I don’t love it. (If you do—that is fine! Many people do! But you probably won’t like this post haha.) In the story, the tree gives her apples, then her branches, then her trunk to a boy she loves until she is just a stump. I’ve sometimes … More “Grace is not the absence of God’s high expectations. Grace is the presence of God’s power.”

Our redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, came to pay a debt He didn’t owe, because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.

In 1741, George Frideric Handel composed “Messiah.” Handel had all the proceeds for the performances go to releasing people who couldn’t pay their debts from debtor’s prison.  Because of his donation, one hundred and forty people were released from debtor’s prison.  An appropriate use of funds for a song about the Messiah, wouldn’t you say? … More Our redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, came to pay a debt He didn’t owe, because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.

“Blessings come not so much because of our abilities, but because of our choices.”

One morning before school, my son had a melt down that, in the rush of getting him out the door, I didn’t feel that I handled correctly. It was a tricky situation though, and I didn’t really know what the right thing would have been. Frustrated, I prayed after dropping him off, wanting to know … More “Blessings come not so much because of our abilities, but because of our choices.”

“We are here to help, lift, and rejoice with each other as we try to become our very best selves.”

A woman named Jen Hatmaker made an observation that I love,  “In the wild, when a mama elephant is giving birth, all the other female elephants in the herd back around her in formation. They close ranks so that the delivering mama can not be seen in the middle. […] They send a clear signal … More “We are here to help, lift, and rejoice with each other as we try to become our very best selves.”

“Choosing repentance is choosing change.”

I was cutting multiple onions yesterday with a blunt knife and pretty much immediately started crying on onion number one. I tried to blink through it—but it was stinging so bad that I briefly contemplated how much the recipe actually needed onions. In a moment of desperation, inspiration hit: I moved the cutting board to … More “Choosing repentance is choosing change.”

“If the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead.”

Did you know that lemons are the unnatural result of crossbreeding a citron and a bitter orange? Meaning, life never gave us lemons. We created them all by ourselves.  I think there is powerful symbolism in that. Adam and Eve created a bitter experience by choosing to eat the fruit… the Lord telling Eve, “I … More “If the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead.”

Your child’s agency is not your job – loving and teaching is.

A couple years ago we didn’t have a bath at our house, so I would just throw on a swimsuit and shower with my kids.  One day, I was in the shower with one child and the other child just. wasn’t. coming. I was having to get in and out of the shower, getting the … More Your child’s agency is not your job – loving and teaching is.

“You will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle.”

Growing up in Oregon, I’ve been lucky enough to see the giant sequoia trees many times.  These trees are amazing. They can live as long as 3,000 years, They get as tall as 300 feet, They only grow in a 60-mile band in California. Another interesting fact? They need fire to reproduce. Seems counterintuitive, right? … More “You will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle.”

Pay more attention to your Creator than your critics.

A young boy was journeying through his village on a donkey with his grandfather. They passed some villagers who loudly discussed what a shame it was that the boy was riding the donkey while his elder walked. Embarrassed, the boy got off the donkey and had his grandfather ride it, only to hear another group … More Pay more attention to your Creator than your critics.

“There is one thing the power of God and the power of Satan have in common: neither can influence us unless we allow them to.”

Have you heard of the zombie ant fungus called the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis? The fungus infects carpenter ants and slowly takes over an ant’s nervous system, eating the ant from the inside out. When the fungi has control over the ant’s muscles, it compels the ant to leave its nest and climb a leaf almost exactly … More “There is one thing the power of God and the power of Satan have in common: neither can influence us unless we allow them to.”

“The goal of parenting isn’t to create perfect kids. It’s to point them towards a perfect God.”

Adam and Eve left the garden. They had children (Moses 5:2) They listened to God and made animal sacrifices, although they didn’t know why. And after many days, and angel comes to them, explains why they do animal sacrifices, and said— “Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, … More “The goal of parenting isn’t to create perfect kids. It’s to point them towards a perfect God.”

“When you can’t give more, when you’ve gone beyond your ability to give, then sit still.”

It was probably a hard day for Jesus. He had just been accused by the pharisees. Questioned by a large group of people.  And had stones thrown at him. He escaped from the crowd.. And went beyond Jordan. To the place He had been baptized. Where He heard God’s voice and made sacred covenants (John … More “When you can’t give more, when you’ve gone beyond your ability to give, then sit still.”

“We need women who have the courage and vision of Our Mother Eve.”

I am ok if Eve had everything planned out in her mind before eating the fruit, and I am also ok if she didn’t. I feel that either way you look at it, you have to do some mental gymnastics. Conference quotes and even the actual scriptural accounts of the fall just don’t all perfectly … More “We need women who have the courage and vision of Our Mother Eve.”

“All the beauty in the earth bears the fingerprint of the master creator.”

I was scrolling on instagram when a caption stopped me—with permission, I wanted to share it here  “We were driving down a highway in Alaska alongside some of the most massive, beautiful mountains when my cousin pointed to some of the grooves winding down the mountain and said ‘it’s like nature’s stretch marks.’ I haven’t … More “All the beauty in the earth bears the fingerprint of the master creator.”

“Our quest for light will be enhanced by our own willingness to recognize when it shines in our lives.”

The last two days of Christmas break felt really long this year. We had a wonderful Christmas, but getting back from a trip, plus Christmas clean up, plus hormones, plus piles of laundry, plus all the kids in the house (plus guilt) definitely felt like a lot. There were moments in the day when things … More “Our quest for light will be enhanced by our own willingness to recognize when it shines in our lives.”

Satan attacks worth first. Because if we doubt it, we are crippled. And if we understand it, we can do anything.

Charlie Chaplin, a famous actor and filmmaker, entered a Charlie Chaplin look alike contest in Cleveland, Ohio—figuring he was a shoe-in and would give everyone a good laugh. He came in twentieth. I’ve thought about this story a lot. If we let the world judge who we are, they will get it wrong. When Moses … More Satan attacks worth first. Because if we doubt it, we are crippled. And if we understand it, we can do anything.