A Message to Women Everywhere

coffeecupswirl

I don’t know when it happened. I think it was a few years back, maybe more. At some point, I began to be seen as the mentor, the one who has the answers. This was confusing to me at first mostly because I am just an ordinary person walking through an ordinary life. I have been blessed to have had beautiful Godly women invest in my life, but it never occurred to me that it was my turn to be the mentor. I am always surprised when women seek my advice and overwhelmed that they actually value it. Over the past several years as I’ve begun to accept this change in roles, it has been my privilege to walk intimately with a few women through this … [Read more...]

A Season of Thanksgiving

holly

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are right upon us and I can feel all of the hustle-and-bustle picking up.  People aren’t getting too busy yet, but they sure are about to.  Some of it is just inevitable. This has always been a favorite time of year for me. Everything fall makes me happy: fall colors, smells, décor, etc. I’m one that likes the anticipation of things to come, just as much as the main event itself. As I get older, fall has become not just a time of reflection for me (Where did this past year go? What value have I added to my life so far this year?); it has become a perfect place for me to stop, take a deep breath … [Read more...]

Can God Really Use Me?

womanbeach

A Bend in the Road Ten years ago towards the end of my first year of graduate school my life changed forever.  Right at the beginning of finals week I got very sick. At first it seemed like it was the typical sickness I would get during finals week. It happened to me pretty much every year I was in school, the late nights studying, the cramming to get everything finished up and my body would just give out. Exhaustion would set  in and I would push through the last few days to finally collapse for a week or so before I was able to do much of anything. Other friends I went to school with had experienced similar, it was that cold that would … [Read more...]

Cracked or Broken, Just Bring Vessels

vases2

As the new year approaches us, I am mindful of the scores of family and friends whose lives have been, in a word, “stretched” this year.   Perhaps a wallet or purse string was stretched to the point of breaking; perhaps a wayward child left the family exhausted, or a loved one passed away.  Personally, I have found my heart heavy and my mind overwhelmed with the amount of sickness that has surrounded me recently—cancer, lupus, Lyme disease, or continued struggles with diabetes or high blood pressure.   It has been enough to leave me emotionally sluggish for most of this final quarter of the year. In speaking with a brother in Christ, I was … [Read more...]

Gift Ideas for the Foodie in Your Life

plates

I’m not sure when I first encountered the word Foodie, but I do remember when it was first used in reference to myself.  Having grown up with a fabulous cook for a Mom, I never bothered to learn.  Why would I cook when Mom was brilliant at it? (Not my best idea.)  Years later, when needing to feed myself as a single teacher, I turned to boxed dinners.  As a newlywed bride, the red and white canned soups were my new BFF.  Eventually, I turned to non-soup based recipes and, even later, to making up my own recipes. When the USAF moved us to Nebraska, I had reached the “making my own recipes up” stage of the journey.  I viewed this trek … [Read more...]

You are Not the Sum of Your Mistakes

womaninfieldmistake

I spoke with a friend recently who is going through some discouraging struggles.  Issues of self-worth, identity, and some very pointed personal attacks on her character. I hurt for her, especially since I have gone through some of those same trials myself. We all tend to be hard on ourselves. We are critical of our bodies, our choices, and our mistakes. And when someone else is piling on to that negative self-talk it can get overwhelming and demoralizing. But the Enemy loves it! The Bible says that Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion, searching for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8) and that he is the “Accuser of the brethren” (Rev. … [Read more...]

The Thanksgiving Menu: Great Recipes for Your Family Table

thanksgiving box

Christmas trees may be in the windows but it's not quite time for that yet! If you're like me you might be pretty excited about Thanksgiving this week. I must admit, sometimes it's for selfish reasons. Truthfully I love cooking very large meals in celebration with my family. I love how they periodically come in and comment on how good the house smells. I love that they ask, "isn't it done, yet??" I even love that our dog parks himself right outside the kitchen in hopes that he'll snag a piece of something throughout the day. (His great love is sweet potatoes so we keep some extra on hand!) But there is something else about Thanksgiving … [Read more...]