We sit in sanctuaries each Sunday looking at the “perfect” family in front of us who are always on time, beautifully dressed and oozing spirituality. We look at our pew full of rowdy kids with bed heads and the spouse that really ticked us off that morning and think, “Man, we are not cutting the mustard here.” Or maybe the “it” family suffers a spiritual scandal that electrifies the congregation. Do we allow other believers to be imperfect? We hold ourselves, and others, to such high standards that no human can possibly achieve, and when we miss them (or when others miss them), the negativity sets in and the judgement begins.Read More
There was a time that my daybreak would mean hitting the snooze button and prolonging crawling out from the comfort of bed as long as I possibly could. I love sleep and I love snuggling up in the warm bed, especially this time of year. I like naps, I like sleeping in, I like the comfort offered by a pair of cozy pjs and a crisp set of sheets. But years ago, I was hit with an awareness that my days could be infinitely better if I would get up to spend time reading the Bible and praying. Yes, it did mean giving up some sleep, but when weighed against time with my Heavenly Father, did a few minutes of sleep compare? No. So early mornings became my routine.Read More
I hate to wait. I’m not a patient person and I am certainly not one who sits idle, waiting for a clear path, a green light or the fog to lift. I’ve been known to, on several occasions, to run ahead even when things are clear, simply because I hate to wait. I tend to subscribe to the “it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission” way of living. I’ll admit, that mantra has at times come at a high price, but it serves my impatience well.Read More
This summer I spoke at an event in Tennessee hosted by a rather large church. Among the vendor tables set up at the event were some barn wood signs repurposed with inspirational sayings, Bible verses and song lyrics. One particular piece caught my eye - a long board with the words “It Is Well” painted on it. The wood was weathered, beaten up, split on one end, nail holes all over and even charred on the backside. It was just the old gold a barn wood piece needed to create the allure for a farmhouse decor lover like myself. I scooped up the piece and brought it back home to Indiana.Read More
Shame. That feeling of being unworthy, of being nothing more than the sum total of all your mistakes, of identifying as someone not good enough to be in the same league as the others. Feeling unwanted, unloved, unnecessary. Feeling afraid of pushing through to your greatness because you know the baggage you carry with you from abuse, divorce, failures, or loss.
Maybe you identify with some of those descriptive words. I know I do.Read More
"Epic fail." A statement we use in our house to describe when it all just falls apart or doesn't go according to plan. What's your "fail" word or phrase? We all have some way of communicating when we don't get it right -- failure is part of our every day lives.Read More
Moms and wives... you know the way we look for things is far different than the way our kids and husbands look for things, right? I can clearly tell my family that the ketchup is on the second shelf behind the pickles in the fridge. My family will NOT be able to find the ketchup.... it. never. fails. This lame attempt at searching for the ketchup, even after I offer my detailed roadmap to the bottle, is followed by "I can't find it. We don't have any." Can anyone else relate?Read More
Each time I publish a blog, a book or an article, I think "who are you to share that thought?" Who are you to be the 'authority?'" As I finish speaking at an event, I'll replay everything I said in my mind and dissect each word. Many times I am left thinking, "Gee Christie, what makes what you have to say so special?"Read More
Tough times... we all have them, we all go through them. However, it's the getting through part that sometimes makes the difference. I was just speaking to a sweet friend I hadn't seen in awhile. We ran into each other at Walmart, you know...where all reunions happen in a small town. As we took a few minutes (ok...maybe 20 minutes) to catch up I was reminded of a phrase my grandmother used to say:
"Don't go running for the phone when you should be going to the Throne."Read More
Mornings are my most favorite time of day. I love waking up with my husband so that when he leaves for work (at 5:15 a.m.) I can enjoy the stillness, read my Bible, and have some sweet time with my Jesus. In the early morning, it feels like the whole world is open to me … there’s a spark in the air. I feel sort of like the day is full of possibilities and adventures that are awaiting me...and I have the best intentions to go conquer the world!Read More
It was a common scene in my kitchen... in yours as well I would guess.
A busy night before meant a messy kitchen the next morning. As we hustled to get home from work and school to race off to meetings, the gym and other night-time activities, our kitchen became the dumping ground for lunchboxes, dirty coffee mugs and piled up plates in the sink.Read More
This morning during my PB & J time (prayer, Bible reading and journal), I read about Moses in that pivotal Old Testament story when he was called to lead the Israelites out of Egypt but questioned his speaking ability to persuade Pharaoh.
My devotional, as well as popular thought, circled around the insecurities that Moses had when it came to his strengths. God told him in Exodus 4:11, 12 "Who gave human their mouths? ...Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." Even thought Moses felt inadequate to speak with authority, God stepped in a reminded him that it was God who would make it happen.Read More
When you think about the characters from The Wizard of Oz, you probably don't think about them as examples for life lessons. However, we've already discovered the lessons we can learn from the Scarecrow (Check out that post here). The next character on the yellow-brick road is the Tin Man.Read More
There's something magical about the movie The Wizard of Oz. Yes, it's a classic and there are some trivia facts about the movie that make it even more interesting, such as:
- The cowardly lion’s costume was made of a real lion skin.
- The snow in the poppy scene was made of asbestos.
- The Tin Man’s oil was actually chocolate syrup.
- The horses in the Emerald City were colored with Jell-O, which they kept trying to lick off.
- “Over the Rainbow” was almost cut from the film for length reasons.
While scrolling through my social media channels, I ran across a post from a gal outlining a number of circumstances that had unfolded in her young life. As the post spelled out a list of choices made and best intentions laid, she closed with an ultimatum…
“As long as I’m happy, that should be all that matters to my family and my true friends.”
My heart sank as I read this statement because I know the truth…. Happiness is a lie.Read More
For a few years now, I've spent the week between Christmas and New Year's pondering the past year that was coming to an end and planning goals and ideas for the upcoming year. Part of this thought process includes settling on a word that I want to focus on for the new year. Maybe it's a word that will keep me on target for the year. It could be a word that I want to be my "theme" for the year. This year, my word will act more like a filter.Read More
Just 30 minutes sooner and the story could have been entirely different.
If Mary and Joseph had arrived in town sooner, they might have found a place to stay. If Joseph had knocked on that innkeeper's door just 30 minutes sooner, Mary and Joseph may have taken the last room. They may have spent their night in a warm inn, in a comfy bed, surrounded by supportive and helpful hands as Mary gave birth to Jesus. But no... the timing wasn't so.Read More
It's Christmas and throughout the season we take time to share the Christmas story in our homes, in our church services, and through our favorite carols. There's special attention paid to each of the individuals that play a part in the birth of Christ. I particularly like to think about Mary and what that entire experience might have been like for her.Read More
There are many aspects I love most about my Heavenly Father. However, what I love most about Him is that He is redeeming God. His love and mercy knows no end. He doesn't get impatient with me. He doesn't throw up His hands in frustration wondering what to do with me. He never gives up on me even when I fall down over and over again... He is there every time I turn around to run back to Him. Yet I've been struggling to find time with Him.Read More