What I Want vs. What I’ve Got

What I want…complete freedom

What I’ve got….days with fleeting feelings of freedom.

What I want…sleep.

What I’ve got…sleepless nights, awake in the dark.

What I want…to know Him intimately.

What I’ve got…a knowledge of Him that sometimes feels superficial, whether true or not.

What I want…salvation for my family.

What I’ve got…the hope that He wants the same thing.

What I want…a perfectly clean organized home.

What I’ve got…a semi-clean house, piles of laundry, dirty windows, lots of laughter.

What I want…to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

What I’ve got…the Holy Spirit indwelling in me always, but not always overflowing.

What I want…a healthy, loving, fun, rockin’ marriage.

What I’ve got…a healthy, loving, fun, rockin’ marriage.

What I want…to give generously and freely.

What I’ve got…a heart that still holds back.

What I want…to be willing to love others, no matter what.

What I’ve got…a willingness to love others who are easy to love.

What I want…to believe and know that my Father in Heaven is a good and loving dad.

What I’ve got…a heart that is beginning to believe that He is a daddy, but a heart that has far to go.

What I want…to feel confident as a mother.

What I’ve got…daily insecurities and uncertainties about how to raise my children and meet their needs.

What I want…for the pain to evaporate.

What I’ve got…a God who loves me and whose grace is sufficient even on the days when the pain seems too much.

What I want…to surrender fully.

What I’ve got…one finger still gripping the steering wheel, one corner of my heart still protected, one piece of my dreams still unspoken.

The obvious question: What do you want versus what you’ve got? How can you get there?

The One Thing the Church Will Never Give You

From the archives

I know a girl in her mid-twenties who was raised by a single mom and grew up without knowing her father.

For many of us who grow up fatherless or with strained father relationships, we experience great loss, as a result. Thankfully, this girl met Christ at any early age, yet she always longed for an earthly father to love her, not just her Father in Heaven.

When this particular girl was a few years older, she met a husband and wife in the their forties who began to show God’s love to her, counsel her, pray with her, and treat her like their own.

They asked her one day what is was that she needed–spiritually and emotionally. She paused and said she needed something that the Church would never give her… Continue reading The One Thing the Church Will Never Give You

Do You Know…?

Do you know…

You are forgiven…completely? Not-sorta-kinda-maybe-forgiven. Not partially, slightly forgiven, but completely forgiven. God does not remember your sin. He has forgotten them. Forever.

Do you know…

You are not a broken adult whom God has patched up and pieced back together? No. You are altogether new..a new creation breathed into being from nothingness. You are not a remodel, you are a reconstruction–the former demolished and the new rebuilt on the foundation of Jesus Christ? Continue reading Do You Know…?

Jesus and Vomit

[from the archives] My kids were sick with the stomach flu (again) this week and this post came to mind. I thought it was worth re-sharing.

My kids had the stomach flu last week, meaning there was lots of vomiting…everywhere…for days. This is never fun as a parent. Never.

Once the sickness subsided and life began to return to normal, I curled up in my bed and began reading some more of Crazy Love, Francis Chan’s book, which I am currently making my way through.

And what do I begin to read, but a whole chapter dedicated to defining exactly what a lukewarm person looks like. Suddenly, I felt uncomfortable. I got squirmy. “Yeah, that’s me,” I thought to myself. “Yup, I do that,” or “No, I don’t, but I should.”

While reading, my week of cleaning up vomit came full circle. I was struck with an image of Christ, bent over, racked with grief and pain, vomiting…violently vomiting. What was He vomiting up? …Me. Continue reading Jesus and Vomit

Paying with Post It Notes

Today’s guest post is from Chris Lautsbaugh, who writes the grace-filled and encouraging blog No Superheroes. Chris pours out grace in all that he writes, as he knows the freedom grace offers us to move away from thinking we need to be superheroes, and instead allowing us to be true followers of Christ. I’m so excited to introduce Chris and his blog to you and I hope you enjoy! 

My wife and I recently found our house decorated with Post It Notes. Our son, Garett, had written “I Love You’ on the notes and attached them to mirrors, televisions, even in the toilet. We were so touched by our seven-year old’s tender heart.

My wife commented to him about it, thanking him. His response brought a sickening feeling to our stomach’s.

“I am paying you back for all the bad things I have done.”


This of course began a process of explaining our love was not based on his deeds and our forgiveness was already present.

It’s so hard when we see a performance mentality in our children, be it with Post It Notes or attempting to earn our favor with a perfect report card.

As hard as it is, it brings pause for reflection. As believers do we participate in the same type of exchange with God? Continue reading Paying with Post It Notes

To My Naysayers…

No one told me this would be so hard.

No one explained to me that people will read and assume–that they will project their own messes onto me and that I will be, at times, buried by it.

No one could have told me, because no one could have known, how much God would use this to bring me to a place of discipline, where for so long, I had none.

And here’s the thing–this isn’t real.

The words you read here, on this blog, are not me. You know that right?

For all my attempts to be honest, vulnerable, transparent, and real (along with every other Christian cliche term regarding “openness”) I can’t really be… Continue reading To My Naysayers…

Confessions of a Mean Girl

I suppose it was survival. A defense mechanism developed as the result of years and years of bullying.

Girls can be mean. Vicious, really. Cruel, even.

I never saw it happening or noticed the moment when I changed. It was a transformation just like anything. A process, that took me from being who I really was to someone I never wanted to be.

The girls you read about in teen novels and who play the villain in teen movies. That was me. I was no caricature, but I was the girl that exists at every high school. I was a product of my environment.

I was bullied and so eventually, I became a bully. I was a mean girl. Continue reading Confessions of a Mean Girl

Church without You

from the archives

One of the biggest lies told, and re-told by the Church is that in order to serve, individuals must be special in some way. We are told we need a seminary degree, or a counseling degree, or 18 years of experience, or a spouse, or any other number of prerequisites.

We are made to feel inadequate or inferior. We are often told that unless we are preaching from the pulpit, leading worship, or heading up a ministry, we have very little to offer.

Many churches are super-star factories, where people file in just to catch a glimpse of the rock star pastor or worship leader on stage. They then get back in their cars, drive home, and call it a day. This is not church.

More than that, this is not who or what God had in mind for each individual believer. Every one of us has a purpose, a plan, a gift, and role in and for the body.

But, do you know how special (sorry for using the word ‘special,’ it just seems to fit) you really are in the Church? Do you understand the need the Church has for YOU? Here is a list of questions to consider in determining whether or not you are being made to feel needed and necessary in your own church body… Continue reading Church without You

I Didn’t Celebrate

Back in July, something remarkable happened, something truly miraculous and I didn’t even stop to take notice.

Somewhere at the end of the month, I glanced at a calendar and realized that I had been blogging for a whole 2 years. While this might not sound impressive, and why should it, I find it amazing.

It’s amazing that somehow, despite not really wanting this, I have it.

It’s amazing to me that anyone shows up to read the words I write when I feel certain some days that they mean nothing.

And it’s amazing that somehow, a few days a week, for two years, I have managed to find something to write about in the first place. Not to mention, having done so while raising babies, battling pain, and surrendering to the ministry God has for me.

But, blogging in all of it’s difficulties and all of its joy has taught me one very important lesson: Continue reading I Didn’t Celebrate

So, I Almost Died…Sorta

I felt on edge all week, but didn’t figure this was anything to worry about. I’d also not been feeling well physically, having been racked with migraines and pain throughout my body.

So, come last Friday when I woke up feeling miserable, I was determined to not let the pain or stress win. I fought against the day. Have you ever felt like that? Where you feel as if you are simply spending your physical energy to resist? I was resisting pain, stress, a burdened heart, loneliness, anger, fatigue. I was fighting against an invisible and yet very real enemy.

And in my fight, I decided that I would win which meant doing something that usually makes me feel better: exercising. So I headed to the gym with my kids in tow, for an hour long kick box class. I felt good. I felt strong. I finished well.

But, as we headed to the car, I realized that something wasn’t right. I was suddenly dizzy and breathless. I reached down and touched my chest and felt mildly shocked to find that my heart was racing, not beating, but racing. I had been out of class for some time. My heart shouldn’t have been racing, but that was just the beginning. Continue reading So, I Almost Died…Sorta