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Life After Summer Mission

(originally published 2013, updated 2018)
If what started out as the hardest summer of your life
-working the longest hours you've ever worked,
-being stretched physically, emotionally, and spiritually,
-relying on God to make it to the end of the week (much less 5 or 10 weeks),
-wondering how you were gonna live happily for that long with all these new people...

If you thought all of that was challenging, you had no idea that the biggest challenge came at the end-

-after God had pushed you through to the other side:
where the work seemed tiring but in a rewarding way,
where the schedule stretched you thin, but you now know yourself and God better because of carving out time for Him,
where you stepped into scary situations and saw God show up in ways only He can,
where you now know once strangers soul to soul, backwards, forwards and sideways, and you love them anyways,
where you experienced that they love YOU in spite of every flaw you possess,
and that saying goodbye to mission …
Recent posts

Free Lock Screens to Renew Your Mind and Purpose

5 years ago I created the acronym WHY as a way of pausing before using my smartphone. I've shared with audiences both live and digital how important it is to be intentional with technology.

Here are 5 free lock screens from my most recent student conference--Big Break.

You can read more perspective on this topic in an article I wrote for Cru Winter Conference.






How to Stay Friends on Facebook (even in the midst of controversy)

                  Yes, this is a Facebook specific post because each online platform has its own distinct culture, and my experiences on Facebook are unique compared with other forums. 
Want to stay connected and share moments with friends but not get overwhelmed when controversy shows up? 
Facebook is the space where our connections are based on friendships, whereas other platforms can be more relationally removed and driven by subject—you follow accounts that feature your interests or inspirations, whether food, travel, world issues, self-improvement, etc. The average person on facebook (the exceptions being celebrities and business owners) interacts with a wide variety of people with whom they've spent time—former classmates, extended family, co-workers, people in your community, people from your former community. These dynamics create a unique online experience, which is what keeps people coming back for more, but also what can turn people off in an instance.
Some things to kee…

God Invites Us!

I'm reading through the history of the judges of Israel, and God's invitation to people is so evident. Again and again the people forsake God, but any time they have a change of heart, He welcomes them back. 
"But the Israelites said to the Lord, 'We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.' Then they got rid of foreign gods among them and served the Lord."
The spiritual life isn't a formula, but we can glean some simple concrete steps:  Admit your faults. Admit your faults.Admit to God that He IS God. Ask Him to show you the best way. Turn your back on living life apart from Him and from elevating other things in your life above Him.Follow Him and follow through with what's right.
Based on God's character throughout history and based on His words, it's never too late to step into this process no matter if it's our first time or our 1000th time. Based on human history, it is 100% IMPOSSIBLE for people to ente…

Talk About Pop Music--Singing Through the Static

Where we live there are a lot of winding country roads which effect our ability to receive a consistent radio signal. (Who listens to radio anymore? Spotify, XM, playlists from my phone...yeah, yeah, I'm aware of these things, but I still love the spontaneity and variety of good old fashioned FM radio--and so much so that I'm not even deterred by a poor signal). It's commonplace for my kids and I to be singing along to a song only to be interrupted by static or worse, a competing radio signal which gives us the pleasure of two songs at once.

Yesterday my girls and I were enjoying a particular favorite song when another signal encroached. We kept singing along to our tune as it remained the dominant. It started to fade, and only a word or two emerged amidst the chit-chat of the other station. My youngest daughter stopped singing to ask, "Can you just turn it off?" I said, "Sure, but y'all keep on singing." So they did.

We finished our song in acappel…

Finding God's Greatness in the Mundane

I'm rereading my way through 2 Kings, and this verse stood out to me in a new way today, 

"If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!" 

And I thought: I am so like Namaan--I jump to do great things, but will frequently dismiss the small acts of obedience as less than great. 


If God has placed it before me to do, isn't it just as great?! 
And sometimes that actually does involve washing and cleansing--not leprous skin, but my house and my kids. When I do that joyfully for the Lord, then those things ARE GREAT things! 

And sometimes when "all I can do is pray" = also great! God is good to put great things before us!

Questions I'm Asking Regarding My Brothers and Sisters in Christ

I read something on Monday that has made me ponder all week. It falls on the week of celebrating our nation's freedom, and it also gave me good things to think about in regards to how I, as a white woman, experience freedom differently than others. This week I've asked myself these questions: In what ways do I experience freedom?Are there freedoms that I enjoy that also may allow for evil to go on uncovered? What good things can I do to silence ignorance? How do I show love to all who are in the family of God--even and especially those who are different than me? How do I do this in a way that is simultaneously respectful to all involved--including the leadership of our country? The words that prompted all of this thought, I wrote down on an extra-large post-it note and kept it in sight. Like I said, I've been ASKING these questions. I DON'T have all the answers. But I know that since this is God's heart for all people, that IF I ask Him for direction, and IF this is …

Tips for Enjoying Scripture Memory (with kids or kids at heart!)

The kids and I have memorized lots of scripture together. The key for us has been keeping it simple and enjoyable.

Why do it at all? Because life throws hurdles and darts, and God says that His word is many things for us:
power-giving, direction-setting, wisdom-finding, life-sustaining!  
Memorizing doesn't have to be a chore. It doesn't even have to be work--it can be enjoyable! Really!

Here's how to keep scripture memory simple, enjoyable, and effective:1. Select a passage rather than individual verses. Things are not only easier to understand in context, they're easier to memorize because you're putting more meaning to the words as it flows from thought to thought. Choose a short passage (a dozen or so verses) in a translation with easy language. If all you have is a King James Bible, select the same passage at BibleGateway.com in either NIV or ESV translation. (If you don't have a passage in mind, I will make a few suggestions at the bottom of this post).

2. …