Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Miracle Took Place Last Night

It was not something I could see, but certainly something I could feel. Something had shifted in my heart, and today was a new day.

The night prior I took a muscle relaxer. It was prescribed that day by the doctor for a pulled muscle. (Honestly, it's a rib that has moved out of place, but the doc said muscle so I did what he said.) I ended up sleeping that night and all the next day. Maybe I should have started with half a pill! Oops. While the sleep was glorious, my rib is still causing quite a bit of discomfort.

To add insult to injury, we have a gas leak at our house and the gas has been turned off until this can be fixed. Our hot water heater and our regular heater that heats the house both run on gas. Luckily it's not in the teens as it was last week, but still getting down to 32 at night. No hot showers. No warm house.

Not to mention I've just been in a funk lately. Maybe it was because I was unknowingly breathing in gas fumes - this is very dangerous I hear! Whatever the reason, my mind has not been a pretty place lately.

Last night, as I was laying in bed, complaining about something to myself, I was reminded of something very simple.

"Put your focus on God, not your problems." 

As simple as it was, it was a lightbulb moment for me.

I thought to myself, "Oh yeah, why am I not doing what I know to do?!"

I immediately started praising God. Repeating things to myself like, "Thank you Lord for all that we have. Thank you for all my blessing. Even when it looks crazy, you are there. You are an awesome God. You deliver me from evil." And, I fell asleep.

This morning I woke up a new person.

I'm not kidding.

I honestly was thanking God for the no-heat situation. I remembered that situations like these are opportunities to teach my kids alternative ways to keep warm, take baths, heat water, etc. Things I know how to do, but never have to practice; therefore, my kids would never learn.

I learned these things the same way. When it would get extra cold, and the heater could not keep up, my dad would turn on the oven or a burner (take caution if you have a gas stove). Mom would heat water on the stove for a bath if our water was frozen. She would remind us to turn on our electric blankets before bed so our beds would be nice and toasty. This was important because our bedroom doors stayed closed. We didn't heat those rooms because the blankets would keep us warm.

It's was not always the most comfortable or ideal situation, but it was certainly good to know how to do these things. Even taking time to put extra blankets on the bed, are things my kids never think about. And, they have never even heard of an electric blanket. Do they still make such a thing?

This morning before school, I was also reminded to pray with the kids. I used to be really good at this, but I have been so consumed with my thoughts lately that I haven't even taken the time to do it.

After getting to work, I even sent my husband a sweet text message to let him know I was praying that God would bless him today and that I loved him. While this is a simple thing, I fail to do it very often. (Good intentions?)

A few simple words of praise, lifted up to God in the night, have turned my mourning into dancing. I have so much to be thankful for. I know this, but it is even sweeter when God moves it from my head down to my heart.

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), Luke 1:68-70 NIV (

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Are You in the Rut of Tradition?

The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” Isaiah 29:13

Historically, the old testament was the law. People were taught traditions and to follow the law which was laid out by God. These laws had their place. It was meant to teach people how to live and protect them from evil. But even then, there was an element of love that carried through the stitching of this law. A deep love of God pulled at the heart string’s of the people. But many missed that memo, and it was strictly about following the letter of the law, commonly known today as legalism.

Then, an amazing thing happened: Jesus showed up. Can you imagine the difficulty he had trying to get people to listen to their hearts rather than the just traditions they had always known? This was a daunting task to say the least. After all, Jesus was murdered because some didn’t like that he was pulling people away from their traditional ways of doing things.

Yet, even way back in history, Isaiah was telling the people they were simply going through the motions and missing the point. 

Unfortunately, today we get caught up in this same rut. We honor God with our mouth and lips, but are hearts are far from him. 

Traditions are beautiful and they have their place, but if we don’t learn to worship God from our hearts, we have missed the point. We have missed the reason he died on the cross. 

He came that we might have life abundant, not the “going through the motions” life. He came that others might know the freedom that sets the captives free! 

That is something that can only be explained in the heart. The head will never understand it.

Is your heart far from God today? If so, ask him to revive your soul and pour out his love on you today. He will do it! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

To the Person who Bombed Boston -

I’m sure you had your reasons. I’m certain you have justified it in your mind. But whatever reasoning you came to, you were wrong.

People compare life to a marathon, not a sprint, because it takes time, dedication, discipline and tenacity to train for a 26.2 mile run. It’s not easy. You must work hard, qualify, set aside a year (minimum!) of your life to train for such an event.

Photo Credit:

I wonder how long it took you to build that bomb? To plot this attack? Did you put in the time and discipline to build your bomb that these innocent people took to train for this race?

I doubt it.

If you were that disciplined, you would have spent your time doing something that mattered.  You would have tried to make the world a better place, not destroy others accomplishments. You would not have made yourself feel big by making others feel small.

What is most disheartening of all is that you, and others like you, are trying to turn America into a third world country. You are trying to make it a war zone. Your desire is to turn American into a war-torn pile of rubble.

What does that accomplish?

People flee their own countries in droves to come to the “land of the free” and “live the American dream”.  They come here and live as illegal immigrants and put their families in harms way, all to give their children a better life. They do that because others, like yourself, have already turned their countries into unsafe places to live and raise a family. People like you have destroyed the normal way of life and turned those countries into poverty-stricken places. Those people loved their homeland like we love America, but were driven out of it by people like you.

What you did yesterday was absolutely pointless. And, nothing good can or will come from it.

Are you trying to prove a point? The only point you have proven is that you are weak and spineless. You targeted a marathon!  

Obviously, you wanted notoriety and knew the news cameras would be covering the event. Congratulations. You made the news! Give yourself a pat on the back. Speaking of backs, your notoriety came on the backs of 150 injured people and the death of three others. But, I'm sure you think that is okay.  

Maybe you hate the government. Maybe you are just mad at the world. Whatever you are, the world wishes you had kept it to yourself yesterday.

I am a runner, or at least I was before I broke my leg. I’m trying to get back into the sport. I’ve never run 26.2 miles, but look up to those who have.  Until yesterday, running Boston was not something I aimed to do. But now, a piece of Boston will live in my heart. Maybe I will run it. Maybe I won’t. But one thing is for certain, you will never break the Boston Marathon spirit…no matter how hard you try. 

Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.  Proverbs 13:17-19

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