“Significance is about who we are before it is about what we do” (pg. 133).The enemy wants us to prove and earn our worth and to make our lives about us but Ortberg says, “our lives were meant to be signs that point ourselves to God” (pg. 133).

So who are we? Take a minute and write 5 things about who you are and 5 things about who you want to be.

I am:

  •  I am…a woman seeking her life purpose & calling.
  •  I am…a follower of Jesus (on most days).
  •  I am…a hurting soul who wants a mother’s hug so much that I leaned against a Catholic statue of Mary and wept.
  • I am a very loved Child of God!
  • I am…a woman who struggles with my self-image.

I want to be:

  • I want to be…important and significant
  • I want to be…a really great life coach.
  • I want to be…someone who shares the hope of Jesus with others.
  • I want to be…skinny, healthy, and beautiful (just sayin!)
  • I want to be…free from my limiting beliefs and fears.

I have a lot of work to do to discover and accept more of who I am and live in that freedom as opposed to who I crave to be and to make myself significant. How about you? I encourage us to keep asking great questions such as these from Ortberg (pg. 134):

  • What is the core part of you God made you to be that [people] will talk about at your funeral?
  • Why do you think God  put you on this earth?

“For Jesus, identity and acceptance came before achievement and ministry” (pg. 127). May we accept who we are with grace this week and may we let the Lord give us our significance rather than try to achieve it on our own. ~ Amen!

Our Souls Need Rest!

“If you don’t come apart for a while, you will come apart in a while” says Ortberg (pg. 138). Dang! Rest is serious business it seems to God. In fact, observing the Sabbath made the top 10 list of the Big Rules of Life for Christians…right up there with not killing people, and not committing adultery. So what is rest and what might it look like in modern-day 2015?

The definition of rest according to, means the following:
1. a time of refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor;
2. relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbs;
3. mental or spiritual calm;
4.  to refresh oneself, as by sleeping, lying down, or relaxing;
5. to be at ease; to have tranquility or peace;
6.  to be quiet or still.
Close your eyes and try to think of the last time you were quiet or still apart from going to bed for the night. If our soul asked us today,
“What have you done for me lately,” what would we say? Would we be able to answer, “I gave you rest.” Or would we have to humbly say, “Not really much of anything!”
This week, I invite us all to rest. What does that look like to you? Grab a pen and jot down 5 ways you can rest. These are mine…
1. Take a nap and not feel guilty about it.
2. Intentionally take a slow walk around the block. Walk as slowly as possible.
3. Take deep breaths when I begin to feel anxious about all I have to get done.
4. Turn off every electronic device in our home for a period of time.
5. Don’t make any plans on a Saturday and just BE!! (No chores, to do list, no “catching up”).
Let’s see who can win at doing nothing this week. Ortberg says that, “The capacity to do nothing is actually evidence of a lot of spiritual growth” (pg. 137). Can’t wait to see who wins this challenge.
Please share your five ideas for rest. Thanks!

A Centered Soul

Quickly grab a pen and paper and write 5 things that you are concerned about at this moment? Here are mine:

  1. Moving into my calling as a life-coach and doing the work of starting a blog.
  2. Taking care of my pre-schooler
  3. Cleaning my home.
  4. Getting my work done.
  5. Trying to hear God and rest in him but feeling so busy and forgetting to breathe.

So how does one stay centered on God in the midst of life? I visualize a monk or someone like Dallas Willard sitting at a desk or working in their garden all day…alone…quietly…sagely….and centered! It seems like it would be a life that is perfect and un-messy.

That is far from my life with two children playing sports, doing homework, trying to keep up on the housework, and attempting to write. My life feels scattered, rushed and chaotic.

Fortunately, Ortberg says, “It’s not about perfection. It’s not about adequacy. It’s not about your competence….It’s about holding on to God, because the soul was made to be connected with him” (105).

Being centered on God is about knowing He is there every minute. Right now, as I type, He is here and watching me. He is encouraging me to breathe and to trust Him. He is smiling and saying, “Way to get your business done!” He is inviting me to talk to him in my mind, in my heart, and in my soul.

He is in my home as I struggle to learn patience from my three year old. He is listening to my phone conversations. He is at my workplace walking the halls with me, helping me notice the hurting student or teacher. Will I reach out and offer a word of encouragement? He is with me as I worry about learning all the social media tools to build a platform,

In all of this, He is whispering, “ I love you. I will open every door you need to walk through as you need it to open. Trust my timing. Do your part but you don’t have to get it all done in a day. Wait for Me.  Don’t move ahead of Me. If I call you, I will equip you. I don’t want you to fail. What kind of parent wants that? I do not demand perfection from you. I love you right now as I much as I will love you when you figure it all out. Be with me. Trust me. Follow me. Know me!

With this knowledge, how might we center our souls in His loving care? Think about what keeps you from Him. Ortberg suggests it is sin and troublesome thoughts!

Pick your pen back up! I invite you to write a letter to God about what is troubling you or even to confess your sins to Him. Wait long enough to hear His response and write what you think He is saying to you. Whatever He speaks will not contradict what His Word (The Bible) says so if you hear thoughts of judgement, condemnation & shame, it isn’t from Him. He speaks words of forgiveness and healing. May you center your soul today in His love and care for you and this world He created!



While preparing the Sunday school lesson for Palm Sunday, I came across this question. “How will you extravagantly love Jesus this week?” Okay, so my first thought was not how I love Jesus more but…I’m being honest here…How can my husband extravagantly love ME more this week? I would love me some of that! I wish he would sweep me up into his arms and hold me and tell me all the great things about me. I wish he would splurge on our next vehicle and get heated seats or better yet, a Volvo! 🙂 Just sayin!

But now I decide to flip the question around and wonder what extravagant things God might want:  I hear him saying, “I wish she would know how beautiful I made her. I wish she would give me her fears. I hope she develops the gifts that I put into her and doesn’t waste them. I hope she gives me her best and gives me glory as she does. I hope to see her smile and conquer her fears as she gives me the credit for helping her do the hardest things in life. That’s how I want to be extravagantly loved!!!” Wow, can you imagine the God of the Universe wanting us to just live out our lives well and trust Him in the process?

I want to extravagantly love Jesus.  I know that He deserves my love, attention, prayers, adoration, worship, focus, and faith, but I think He also wants us to live life to its fullest potential, risks and all. Could that really be another expression of extravagantly loving and worshiping our Savior ? What if he saw me kick out every fear based on the fact that I know He loves me and created me? What if I become the public speaker I desire to be as I shine His glory to my audience? What if I live my life to the fullest by living out of my freedom in Him? I think Jesus would feel really LOVED!! Let’s go for it!!

In his book, “Questions for Jesus,” Tony Stolzfus asks, “What about me are you delighted in, that you are looking forward to displaying before all of heaven?” He also asks, “Jesus, I am a little embarrassed when I think about being cheered by all on the stage of heaven. What do you want to say to me about that?”

Ask Questions!

John Ortberg says that we all have questions we’d like to ask Jesus such as, “Why does this little boy have a brain tumor? Hey Jesus, why do hungry children keep dying and wars keep breaking out? Hey Jesus, why did my child run away? Why did my marriage fall apart? Why did my father suffer from crippling depression” (pg. 114-115)?

I remember when I was 11 years old and being bullied at my school. The girls on the bus would make fun of my clothes and hair. One night when my grandma was babysitting me, I began to cry. She asked me a question…”what is wrong?” I followed up with my own set of questions. Why are the girls at school so mean to me? Why is middle school so hard? My grandma hugged me and told me she loved me and that things would get better.

Later on in my life, I remember showing up to youth group one Sunday morning with quite a hangover from partying the night before. Guess what? Instead of inquisitive minds wanting to know, no questions were asked. Not one. I remember wishing that someone would ask me, “Why are you partying? Why do you feel the need to do what you are doing? Do you know that you are loved? But, nothing happened. I wonder what might have been different for me if someone had asked some questions. What if I had asked for help from my youth group leader or a caring adult at church? Asking questions might have changed the trajectory I traveled during my high school years.

As we work with children and the people who surround us on a daily basis,  let’s remember to ask questions. Let’s ask kids how they are doing and really listen. Let’s also remember to go to God with our own tough questions and let Him hold us and tell us it will be okay.

Ortberg goes on to say that Jesus will come back and when He does, He will set things right. In fact, Jesus says, “In that day, you will no longer ask me anything” (pg. 115). I bet that will be a relief to Jesus! 🙂   For now, may we continue to ask Jesus and each other our heart-felt questions and may we have faith to follow Him to the end when “we will see the goodness of God. The world will be re-born. Pain will be defeated. There will be no more questions” (pg. 115).


My hands are shaking! My boss encouraged me to sign up for WordPress in order to begin writing and somehow share  it with others. It is, T-E-R-R-I-F-Y-I-N-G!!!! Why, I wonder? Why is this blogging thing so scary?  I have kept journals my whole life; there are probably 80 of them in my basement. Isn’t this just like journaling?

Nope!!! Not at all! People READ this stuff… And that is what makes it so daunting. But, for some crazy reason, I feel like this is the next step I need to take in life.  Even though it scares me, I want to have a voice. I want to use it to inspire the people  I care for; children, youth, emerging leaders and those who care for them.

Maybe I can share some stories that inspire. Maybe I can help people feel better about their own writing. Maybe, I can face some fears in my little online community and learn from other bloggers. Maybe I can just show up and let you know how scared I am and that will be enough. But maybe, just maybe, I will become a person who moves from fear to freedom and inspire someone else to do the same!

Thanks, Boss, for helping me get started!