Finding Your Balance in Extreme Circumstances

Recently, I've been faced with two extreme contradictions. While processing with the Lord, here is what I saw: A gigantic rubber band with amazing opportunities pulling on one side and on the other side, a very heart-rending situation. Smack dab in the middle, being yanked back and forth by these two contrasting conditions, was me. There I was, my head jerking from side to side, with no way to get my footing. I had no time to focus on either side, because I would immediately be jerked to the other. This is a good picture of how I've been feeling.

I wasn't going to write about this, but when two other friends within a few days of each other, told me they were going through the same thing, I decided that being vulnerable and sharing what the Lord is teaching me, would be appropriate. Emotionally, times like this can wear us down. Going from the highest "high" to the lowest low from day to day, even hour to hour, can be exhausting! So how do we overcome?

The Lord so graciously showed me how to get through this season. As I was being tossed around, I simply relaxed and focused my gaze upon Him. Suddenly, I wasn't being jerked around, I was balanced and stable in Him. This great shaking continued, but now I was postured to see and hear how to pray over each condition. Grace poured over me, as I was well aware of what was happening, but looked with faith into the eyes of the One who holds the answers.

Although I could write another couple of paragraphs, detailing what this might look like on a practical level and how to walk this out, I won't. I simply wanted to present you with the Lord's viewpoint and to encourage you (and myself) ~ good things are on the horizon and this shaking will not only refocus us, but end in victory!


Becoming Famous. Or Not.

A Post About Me Being Me 
And What it's Like to Become an Author

I haven't written in this blog in almost a year. Why? Because I've been working my lil' tooshie off to become a published author. (or not so lil' tooshie anymore—due to countless hours of sitting and writing. sigh.)

When I set out to become an author, people came out of the woodwork to tell me how hard it is. I ignored them. (They were right, but I still ignored them.)

My first published work will be a devotional that I co-authored with Brian Simmons (author/translator of The Passion Translation Bible). I had no intention of writing a devotional. It was one of those God things—it literally fell in my lap.

What was it like? It was a dream come true! It was also incredibly hard and beautifully satisfying. 
I literally spent the entire summer locked away alone, pouring my heart into the book. If you want to get a glimpse of what's been tucked away inside of me, buy the book! But don't say I didn't warn you. ;)  (Prayers on Fire, comes out spring of 2017)

All of this started with a goal of publishing my fiction book, Heretic.
About that novel—after re-writing it twice and editing it countless times, I'm searching for an agent again. That means having to make myself sound like I'm on the walk to fame. You see, in order for an agent and/or a publisher to take interest, they don't just want to see your writing. They want to know if you're a "somebody".

Well, since I'm only famous to myself and my family, I decided to find people who are famous! Seriously. I knocked on doors, AKA emailed famous authors, until someone opened. Turned out that one of them was willing to look at my book and not only gave me writing tips, but also an endorsement! I won't mention her name, but she's a big deal. I was blown away!

Getting that endorsement has already opened doors. Her name caught the attention of two agents who previously didn't see me. Also, another author is now willing to look at my book for possible endorsement.

I'm not a "somebody" yet, but I know a "somebody". Does that count? Apparently it does!

There's a song by Kristene DiMarco called, He's in the waiting. Very appropriate. Very beautiful. Makes me cry—every time. While I wait to become famous—or not—I simply keep writing. Another fiction book and even another devotional. I do what I do, because it's a part of who I am and that will never change.

I love writing. I've fallen in love with the beauty of words.

I'll leave you with this— (and let me know what YOUR dreams are in the comment section!)
I've learned a lot on this journey of becoming an author and it can be applied to any area of life.
  • Set a goal and don't stop until you get there. Work hard. Really hard. 
  • Let go of things that waste your time. 
  • Don't let anyone deter you. 
  • Knock on doors. A lot of them. Keep knocking until someone opens.
  • Learn from mistakes. Don't let them discourage you. At least you are learning.
  • Fine-tune your craft. Study.
  • Embrace it all—the pain, the joy, the discouragement, and the dreams. It will teach you a lot about yourself and where God is in the process.
  • Enjoy what you're doing! Do what you do because it makes your heart soar.


How Much Do You Want?

It was just over twenty years ago that I heard Fuschia Pickett say something that changed my life. She said, "You can have as much of God as you want." I'm sure I'd heard that said before, but that day it came with the breath of God upon it.

That was the day I made the decision to wake-up early in the morning to start seek His presence before anything else. I had one small child and a baby at the time and sleep was a rare commodity. For the first couple of weeks, I remember thinking, "I'm too tired to pray, read my Bible, or even hear God!" He didn't rush in and start speaking right away, but I persisted. Not long after, my relationship with the Lord exploded with dynamic encounters of His presence. To this day, set-apart time with Him is my life-force and joy.

How much of God do you want?
Isn't it interesting that the Creator of all things allows us to decide how close we want to come? He gently draws us to Himself, but it takes an act of our will to shake off the distractions and respond. Yes, the Lord can swoop in and encounter us, but usually the most profound encounters are a direct result of choosing to prioritize our relationship with Him over everything else. (Especially, internet, TV, etc.) Intentionality on our part, choosing Him over and over and over again, invites the most profound encounters of His love. These quiet times are when we hear Him the clearest.

So busy!
Life really gets busy! I get it. But the truth is that somewhere in your day you have an extra fifteen minutes to prioritize your relationship with Him. It's not a chore. It's not a duty. If that's how you've been thinking about it, I encourage you to hand that thinking over to the Lord right away! If the desire is gone, ask Him to breathe it back into you. Learning to live out of a place of deep communion with the Lord is learning to live in peace, joy, wisdom, etc. "In Him we live and move and have our being." - Acts 17:28 That means outside of living in Him, we are dead, stuck, and lost for our identity. 

Are you unable to still your mind?
One thing that happens to us when our minds are accustomed to the swirling thoughts, is that it's hard to get that wheel to stop spinning. It seems almost impossible to shut down the thoughts long enough to hear Him or feel Him. I find this happens to me if I've missed a couple of days of quiet time with Him. I'd love to hear how you get your mind/emotions to become still, so that you can focus on Him. For me, I put worship music on and sing until I feel the switch inside. If I'm especially stressed, it may take a good hour of pressing in and worshipping, but if I don't give up, my mind will slow and my spirit takes charge again!

What are the ways you create stillness? How do you press through when you feel dry?I'd love to hear from you in the comment section below. If you are enjoying this blog, feel free to follow me at the top of the page.


The Final Pieces are Coming Into Place. Don't Give Up!

Imagine if today were the day you received that breakthrough you've been praying for.  
Go ahead—imagine.  

Close your eyes and picture what it would be like. How would you react? Would you celebrate? Would you cry in relief? What would it feel like to finally have the answer to that prayer for: finances, health, family, ministry ...? The list is endless, but deeply personal to the one who's been believing God for a resolution. 

Did you allow your imagination to take you to that moment, or did you scoff? So many of us have been believing God for things that feel as though they are never going to happen. Just because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't happen. I understand what it's like to be afraid of stirring your hope; to believe again. But giving up is definitely not the answer! As my pastor, Bill Johnson, says, "Your greatest breakthrough is on the other side of adversity." The greater the opposition to the breakthrough, the sweeter it will be once it happens. The Lord is inviting you to release doubt and disappointment, and allow hope and faith to flood your being.

I'm here to encourage you today that anything is possible with God!

This year (2015) Yom Kippur (a Jewish time of repentance) coincided with the Year of Jubilee (which happens once every 50 years). Jubilee was a time of celebration when debts were forgiven, slaves set free, and all land was restored to its original owner, whether it was stolen, sold, etc. Before I knew anything about it being Jubilee, my spirit was jumping with excitement, the Lord spoke to me and told me to get excited, because He was bringing surprises. I knew it wasn't only for me, but for the Body of Christ! He told me to stop looking at the circumstances and start anticipating the answer—to start thanking Him in advance. He told me that it would be even better than we've been imagining. This is our time of Jubilee! If you feel hopeless, the Lord wants to breathe hope within you. Just ask Him!

Right now everything may feel like it's being shaken and sifted, but don't let it scare you. It's just those final pieces coming into place—it is the enemy being crushed beneath the core of your faith. Keep your eyes focused on Him. Refuse to allow these last attempts to scare you out of faith and knock you off course. I see the Lord holding your face between His strong, yet gentle hands, and looking intently in your eyes. He's saying, "Focus on Me. I've got this."

What did it feel like when you imagined your breakthrough? Pretty good, I bet! The Lord wants you to start celebrating in advance, especially on the days when opposition is screaming in your face. I also want to encourage you to ask the Lord for Wisdom. Many will be receiving breakthroughs that are much bigger than anticipated, and in order to navigate them well, you must have God's Wisdom. 

This is our time! Let's celebrate!

"No matter what, I'll trust in You to help me. Nothing will stop me from praising You more and more!" Psalm 71:14 The Passion Translation



"Courage, dear heart." A prophetic encouragement.

Today's post is a short prophetic encouragement. 

"Courage, dear heart." That phrase from C.S. Lewis resounded loudly in my spirit two days ago and this morning I still hear it. A shift has taken place in the spirit. For some, dreams that long seemed dead are coming alive again. For others, something new is being awakened by the breath of God.  

There is one main thing you need: courage to believe again. 

The Lord showed me an aerial view of a beautiful river, flowing and clean. There were many paths in the adjacent woods, which led to it. Some paths were worn and easy to see. Other paths were still covered with twigs—seldom used. Then I heard the Lord say, "Courage dear heart, I'm leading you down a different path. Don't expect to see the same things on this path as you've seen before. Release all of the disappointments of the past to Me, and shake off everything that has held you back. Stay close to Me and you will begin to see from My perspective." 

I could sense the Lord's excitement as He lead us to the river of His promise. As I emerged from the woods, I expected to find myself at a familiar spot on the river. Instead, I was somewhere unfamiliar—somewhere more beautiful than I'd seen before. This was still a river of promise, but to my surprise those promises looked different. They were better!

God is taking dreams and breathing life into them again with a fresh perspective. Many will begin to flow with creative ideas and the wisdom necessary to do what they couldn't do before. Others are sensing a shift—while the call is similar, the implementation is different. What you weren't able to do before, you will do now, by His Spirit, with His strength, wisdom, and creativity. 

You have allowed the disappointments of past years to become the foundation for what you believe now. It is time to stop looking back and forge ahead with courage, excitement, and faith.

Take courage and believe!

Question: Have you found yourself looking to the past as a foundation for what you dare to believe now? What are you sensing in your spirit? If this word has spoken to you, please leave a comment below and sign up for updates when I post something new.


The De-Socialization of Social Media and How it Affects You

Have you ever thought about how often you pick up your smart phone for no significant reason? Checking Facebook, your email, Googling, watching a video... you know as well as I do that the list goes on and on. It didn't hit me how frequently I take a quick peek at something until I went 48 hours without it. I'm embarrassed to say that the first 24 were hard.

But it got me thinking.

Where I live, society encourages us to be raw and authentic. There's an emphasis on individuality, acceptance, and "Human-Kindness." Most of us agree with these things, yet we're content watching others do it through the safety of our screens, (TV, phone, etc.) and forget to do it ourselves—out there. In the real world.

We forget to lift our eyes and look around— taking in a world that offers much more socialization than we will ever get via social media. We live life thinking that because we see it online, we're actually engaging in it.

Ironically, social media has de-socialized us. 

We're more comfortable talking to a stranger online than in person. True, I speak to a myriad of people on any given day through the internet. But what about the people standing around me while I wait in line somewhere? Instead of actually being social, I turn to my phone to see what others are doing on the other side of a screen. 

And then I miss something.
  • ... a chance to help the old woman behind me who just dropped something.
  • ... an opportunity to see the beautiful young child who has been staring at me, trying to get my attention.
  • ... the privilege of making small talk with the widower who came to Starbucks just so he wouldn't feel alone. 
  • If you're single, maybe the man or woman of your dreams was standing five feet from you, but you decided to check your Tinder account to find out if you've found your match.

We've learned how to be social and talk to complete strangers online, but we aren't willing to press past our comfort zones and talk to real people. We may have thousands of online friends but because we have become so comfortable behind the screen, we feel awkward interacting in real social settings. We miss the chance to make friends or brighten someone else's day because we're becoming socially inept. 

On top of that, we've missed something even more important.
As Christians, we've unwittingly fallen into an even bigger trap. During my two-day break with the internet, I realized how often the Holy Spirit pulls me towards Him during the day. In the moments when I suddenly want a break or feel the need to fill an empty minute, it's often the Lord pulling me to turn my focus and interact with Him. He rushes in to say something, or to simply remind us of His love, but because of the habits we've formed, we interpret that sudden empty spot as a need to look at our phone. The Lord graciously woos us to Himself, yet we run for an artificial and temporary fix when He offers a deluge of life, an answer to the question we've been asking, or a moment of clarity about something we've been going through. 

Ten seconds of acknowledging His presence and turning our gaze to Him, can do more to calm a frazzled mind than thirty minutes of internet down time.
So, the next time you feel the impulse to grab your phone, stop. Be still and know He is God. You may be on the verge of a great discovery about Him, about yourself, or about those around you. 

How have you seen social media de-socialize us? Are there changes you can make to your daily internet habit? I'd love to hear from you.


Because You're Worth It

I woke up in the middle of the night with the phrase, "But the Blood is free," resounding in my mind and reverberating throughout my spirit. As I pondered its meaning, I saw an image of an exquisite Fabergé egg and an art gallery filled with priceless pieces of art. People pay hundreds of millions of dollars to own fine artwork. Once purchased they can enjoy it's beauty whenever they want and take pride in the fact that they own something of such great value.

All night as I drifted in and out of sleep I continued to hear, "But the Blood is free." 

Although I knew God was talking about the Blood of Jesus, I didn't understand — the Blood certainly wasn't free — it cost the Lord everything. 

We Are the Most Beautiful Piece of Art 
When I woke up I had a vision of God looking from Heaven to the earth below. In the next scene, He was walking around admiring the earth's beauty. I saw breathtaking scenery — gorgeous beaches, colorful sunsets, and majestic mountains. But He continued walking, as if He was looking for something special. 
Then He saw us and paused.

More than anything else He cast His eyes upon, He decided that we were the most exquisite piece of art. God the Father became the highest bidder — no would ever be able to outbid Him. The price was the Blood of Jesus, and by paying it, God declared that we were worth more than anything else in the entire world. God Himself enjoys us and understands our value. He now proudly displays our beauty for the world to enjoy. The only way that beauty can be hidden is if we cower in a corner afraid to reveal it, or if we allow others to throw a cloth over us.

"But the Blood is free."
Again I wondered about this phrase and inquired of the Lord. Instantly, I was drawn to Jesus's beauty. I couldn't help but marvel that the most beautiful One considers us beautiful. I was stunned that He paid a price to be able to enjoy us while also giving us access to a far more beautiful gift — Himself. It costs us nothing to gaze upon His beauty whenever we'd like. It costs us nothing but the yes in our hearts, because the price was already paid. His blood, worth more than everything of value put together, is the entryway to every good and perfect thing. Yet for us, it is free. It is our gift.

When God saw your beauty, He decided that not only would He pay the price to enjoy you and declare your worth, He would pay the price for you to enjoy Him. We don't have to pay millions of dollars to gaze at the most beautiful One. For us the finest "work of art" is free. From now, throughout all of eternity, you have a free gift. He will enjoy us and we will enjoy Him. We may pay millions to own the right to stare at a piece of art — but the Blood is the only entryway to true beauty. It cost Jesus everything, but for you, the Blood is free.

Have you ever thought of yourself as being this valuable? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Dealing with Controlling, Negative People

Go about your day in confidence, believing you are who God says you are. God has declared that you are brave, favored, worthy, loved, smart, strong, and creative. You are these things and more because you were made in His image. 

No one can make you believe otherwise. No one can strip that away from you—unless you let them.

Most of us don't like adversity, especially when someone is trying to convince us that we're something that we're not. But the truth is that coming up against people who try to confuse our identity, can actually strengthen us. 

Let me tell you a story.

Recently, I was confronted by someone who was convinced that my inability to do a certain task was due to some deep wound inflicted upon me as a child. To say I was taken back would be an understatement. Not only was this person convinced of this, they believed it was their job to walk me through inner healing. 

Okay, I'm all for inner healing, but I knew — at least I thought I knew, that this weakness of mine was simply a weakness. No deep emotional healing session needed. 

I tried to explain that it simply was an area I wasn't strong in. But this person pushed. And pushed. Until my refusal to engage with them made them very angry.

I left there feeling beat-up. I spent the rest of the day wondering if that person was right. Was I really a basket-case and didn't know it? 

The next morning I asked the Lord if it was true. No idea why I waited until the next day. He responded by laughing and shaking His head. I mean, doubled over, laughing loudly! Jesus reminded me that each of us are created with specific strengths that are crucial to our life's call and that we should celebrate those strengths. He doesn't focus on our weaknesses and no one else should either.  

Then He looked at me —one of those moments that pierce into the depth of our being, and said, "Remember who you are." 

His face softened and He said, "And forgive (name of person)."

That was all I needed. (That and a conversation with my spiritual Mom who also responded by laughing.) I shook off the crud that this person smeared all over me and got back up feeling confident once again. To tell you the truth, I got up feeling more confident than ever. It reminded me that the enemy wants us to believe we are insignificant. He wants us to focus on what we are not, so that we won't be brave enough to run after our dreams and discover that we are actually more than we once imagined.

Here's my take-away from this experience. I hope it will encourage you.
  • Fear of what others think of us is a huge stumbling block. It does nothing but restrict us from being who God created us to be. 
  • It is wisdom to listen to the counsel of others, but when that counsel doesn't sit right, take it to the Lord and other leaders. "In the multitude of counselors, there is safety" (see Proverbs 11:14).
  • When someone repeatedly points out your weaknesses and you consistently leave their presence feeling beat-up, stupid, worthless, etc., it is probably a good idea to permanently remove yourself from further encounters with them.
  • Sometimes God allows us to come against adversity because it strengthens us. Certain problems in our life can do us a lot of good if we purposefully seek God for the victorious outcome, instead of focusing on the temporary irritation.
  • We can only be controlled if we allow ourselves to be. Confidence exasperates those who have control issues. 
  • Confidence and arrogance are two different things. Jesus was confident, but He also knew how to walk in humility and love. Taking your stand may not always be pretty, but do your best to walk in honor and love to those who seek to dishonor and criticize. "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men" (see Romans 12:18).
  • Leave your reputation in God's hands. This can be a tough one! We have to trust God protect our name when rumors flit about. And from prior experience, (see my post, "That Time They Tried to Expel Us From the City") I can tell you that God has our back!
I'd love to hear your comments! Have you ever doubted yourself or your call, because of what others have said?


Today I Grabbed a Shadow

Today I grabbed a shadow and held it in my hand.
A fleeting moment,
A whispering breath.

Anticipation swells within, making it hard to sort my thoughts.
Waves of creativity crash against each other somewhere deep.
Too deep to fight,
Too powerful to withstand.

Yet the shadow remains in the cleft of my hand, awaiting my attention.
Discovered in stillness,
Offering answers, if only I would partake.

As I allow myself to sink past the surging waters,
Past the teasing notions which offer no substance,
The shadow overtakes me, covering me with its feathers.

It is the strength of peace,
A well wisdom.

It is purposefully hidden,
Yet desired by all.

Within this shadow, the clamor ceases.
Striving ends,
And destiny revealed.


That Time They Tried to Expel Us From the City

After spending almost 9 years on the mission-field of Puerto Rico and 3 years processing what I have learned there, I'm ready to share some of these life-changing moments with you.

One of the many stories that may floor you, is about a pastor who tried to expel us from the city.   
Let me back up a bit.

We were asked by a church in a small mountain city, to become one of their leaders and teach them about revival. We had served as associate pastors during the revival of the early 90's & these pastors seemed genuinely hungry for a move of God, so we accepted.

We weren't children pastors, but my husband loved talking to the kids. He told them about God's power and encouraged them to pray for their unsaved parents, grandparents, etc. They did! Parents were getting rocked by God as their children prayed for them at home. In turn they'd invite their extended families to receive prayer -they were getting physically healed and turning their lives over to God. It was an exciting time! The kids were getting fired up and families were changing. 

 (Photo of my husband praying for a child in Paraguay)

Unfortunately, the pastors didn't like it.
"These kids aren't equipped and these families aren't coming to church," they griped. 
We needed to stop encouraging this behavior among untrained children and allow the adult leaders to visit the homes so they could bring them to church. 
  • Problem #1 - Thinking an institution needs to supervise what God is doing in His sovereignty and love. 
  • Problem #2 - Believing that the ways of God can be understood with the natural mind. 
We did our best to explain that this was what a true move of God looked like. Pure, untainted love, reaching out with no strings attached. We were told that to allow these things, but not disciple these people, was un-Biblical. "Make disciples of all nations," they quoted.  But what they refused to understand is that reproducing church members wasn't the same as making disciples. 

Then God started moving in our home.
Around that time our house was continuously packed with college aged kids. (I'll share some crazy stories about this in another post.) They too were getting fired up about praying for strangers, believing for healing/miracles, etc. And they were experiencing them for the first time. Our house was overflowing with hungry lives and we were having a blast! Wow! The stories we have about physical manifestation of God's glory when they visited are astounding. 

A true move of God cannot be controlled. 
The church was not happy. We were messing things up. We were causing chaos! Didn't we know that some of the youth coming to our house didn't even go to church? Didn't we know some of them drank alcohol and were sleeping around? What were we trying to do?

They were upset with us for trying to change the way their leaders prayed for people - they were pushing them down. When we explained that pushing wasn't a move of God, they became indignant! (Yet people were falling when some of the "un-trained" kids gently held someone's hand.) 

After much prayer, we decided that this church wasn't really looking for revival. They were looking for their church to grow and to control a move of God. We lovingly explained we would be leaving.

That's when they tried to expel us from the city.


Making Peace with Catholicism...and Other Religions

I remember it clearly - watching a reel-to-reel movie in Sister Patricia's second grade class. Although I don't remember why the girl in the movie was crying, I do remember the affect it had on me. My heart was gripped by the fact that I wanted to know God more.

The church was close to our home and I liked to hangout there, hoping to find God. One of the priests found it so odd, he phoned my Mom to let her know I couldn't be there everyday. Guess I looked a bit like a 7 yr. old hoodlum with my pigtails and missing teeth.

In the eighteen years I grew up in Catholicism, no one ever taught me the deep spiritual truths of knowing God. All I knew was to attend mass, say my prayers, and take communion. And I did - until I visited a "non-denominational" church and felt God's presence for the first time. I was wrecked - in a good & bad way. Not only did I find what I had been looking for, I also became judgmental towards the Catholic religion. They had let me down.

Then, about ten years ago I started reading about the Catholic mystics of old with their visions and spiritual manifestations. Their passion and commitment to the Lord stirred me. Why hadn't I ever been taught this in Catholic school? I reasoned within myself that it had to be because Catholics themselves either didn't believe it, or they thought the days of mystics were long gone. Since I personally knew many people who were experiencing God's presence in very tangible ways, myself included, I again formed a judgment - Catholics must be much, much different from the way they were in the days of the mystics. They must have lost their hunger.

Very recently, I was doing research on Catholicism for


Hey God! Where'd You Go?

For many years I have started my day by spending quiet time with the Lord. Sometimes those moments are amazing and sometimes, quite frankly, they aren't. But either way, when we set ourselves to seek His face, it is always time well spent. 

As Thomas Merton said, "We should not, however, judge the value of our meditation by how we feel. A hard and apparently fruitless meditation may in fact be much more valuable than one that is easy, happy, enlightened and apparently a big success."

I remember when my friend Patricia King told me of a time when the Lord warned her that she wouldn't feel His presence for a season. He encouraged her to continue doing all of the same things she had been doing, and that He would still be there, even though she wouldn't sense Him. She said that when that happened, although it was a very difficult time, it taught her a lot. Patricia learned to go to the Lord for who He is and what she could offer Him (love, devotion, adoration, etc.). Her communication with Him wasn't in response to what she felt or what He was saying, but in response to who she already knew that He was/is.

There are so many books on how to tap into God's presence, how to worship, pray, etc., but the truth is there is no sure fire method for turning off distractions and hearing. Very often entering into a place of prayer, worship, hearing, seeing, etc., comes out of a place of tension. A tension we shouldn't despise.

Sometimes His presence greets us swiftly and profoundly and other times we feel as if we are trying to run through mud. Finding Him often comes out of this place of tension; this acknowledgement that while He invites us, we still must trust Him to know what we need. Often times he is pulling us to focus more intently, pray longer, to pull ourselves out of distraction and enter by faith even when we feel nothing. We may be struck by our inability to tap in, but this tension, this plan of God to allow us to face our humanity, grows our roots stronger. Remembering that we are utterly dependent upon God's grace, keeps us humble. It brings death to pride.

If you are walking in a season like that, and feeling frustrated with the seeming silence of God, take heart! Continue loving Him regardless of what you feel or don't. Soon, you will be enjoying the change of season, where the touch of God becomes profound again. We must never grow so accustomed to His presence that we forgot that it is also a profound honor to be there with Him, even though we are His children.


Just Do It!

I fell in love with dance because it gave me a way to express what I didn't know how to say.

Writing came as I matured; as I began to believe in myself and find my voice. Now I dance and write from a deeper, more fulfilling place.

Our journey of discovery with the Lord never ends.

My dance has been a number of things over the years - worship, ministry, intercession, prophecy, etc. But it has since become more profound; more authentic. I step into Him and give Him the deepest part of myself, not as concerned about what is happening around me, or who "gets it". As I dance in heaven's atmosphere, I give the Lord an opening to reach through. It's no longer about my efforts to bring heaven to earth. I simply dance in Him and allow Him to release through me. That's it. Even now, when injuries have stolen a great deal of my movement, I am more confident than ever that those movements are filled with God's breath, power, and love.

In part I have those injuries to thank for changing me. God never brings pain and sickness, but He most certainly knows how to take them and turn them for our good. Because I couldn't dance for almost a year due to a back injury, I had to look deeper into myself to find that I was more than dance. Instead of stripping away my identity, it helped me find it. I realized I truly have a voice; that I truly carry God's presence in everything I do - even in a smile. It gave me confidence to risk failure and become a fiction writer (a secret desire I had for years).

I not only believe in myself, but I believe in the One who has given me various gifts and talents. And I trust that He knows how to convey Himself through them. Fear restrains us; keeps us from running after our dreams. Overcoming fear and stepping beyond what is comfortable, propels us forward. The more we put action to our desires, the more momentum we gain. Too many of us sit idly by, living life through imagination only. It doesn't mean we will always succeed, but it does mean we won't ever have to live with the regret of, "I should have tried." As long as we've prayed and sought the Lord, sensing no red light, we can move forward with expectancy.

So, write that book, get in shape, learn something new, run after the career of your dream, travel the world! How? Set goals, reach them, then set some more! Encourage yourself, cut yourself some slack - your going after your dreams, not taking out the garbage - it is going to take determination and time. Risk making mistakes. Change habits that steal time or push you away from your dreams. If you're learning a new skill, study, practice every single day! 

I'm convinced that if we spent as much time working towards our goals and praying into them, as we do sitting around dreaming about them, our lives would be much more fulfilling! Cheers!
P.S., if you haven't seen this funny, motivational speech by Shia LaBeaouf, check it out:


Authentic Artistic Expression

Writing is like dancing with my fingers. In dance, my body alone conveys the deepest stirrings of my being. In writing I transfer the movements of both my heart and my body to paper.

Whether we are writers, dancers, musicians, singers, painters, sculptures, photographers, etc., each of us carry an expression of God's heart which He asks us to unveil to the world. (Obviously, there are many more ways of releasing His heart than the arts, but this is the subject for today.)

The more time I spend in God's presence, the more of Him I want to release. I  used to think that unless large numbers of people viewed my work, it was a waste of time. Now I realize it's about so much more. It is about being faithful to who we are and honoring the One who gave us these gifts. I'm reminded of the story of the talents in the Bible - even if our gift is small, we mustn't hide it. 

We are called to release what is inside of us - whether to five or to five million, isn't the issue. Whatever articulation of beauty God wants to release through us, we have to trust He will bring the people He wants to convey it to. I think sometimes in our effort to either hide our gift or to gather supporters, we forget that there is a reason we express ourselves the way we do. God wants out! He wants to present to the world that part of Himself that He has so carefully placed inside of us. It is also the reason we cannot compare ourselves to others.

As artists we sometimes feel that unless society validates us, our gift isn't special. Of course our gifts are special - they are the breath of God within us! What matters is that we remain honest, unhindered, authentic, and humble in our expression, and be faithful to give it away. 

Today I pray that you will not only be unhindered in your expression, but that you will remember Who it is that you release through it.


Enjoy the Journey, Reach Your Goals

Lately I've been feeling a bit torn. On one hand, I've finished my first novel, an obscure dream I hid tenderly in my heart for many years. I never thought I could do it, but I did! And I think it's pretty good. But of course every mother thinks her baby is beautiful.

I never imagined I would find a career I'd love as much as dance, but this burns deeply and I feel the breath of God on it. Learning how to write and create with Him, whether fiction or non, is fulfilling, peaceful - the Creator and His creation exploring together.

On the other hand, now that I've truly caught the writing bug, I feel dissatisfied because I don't have enough time. Like many of us, I would love to quit my job and focus on writing. I'm blessed with a great job that I can do at home, but my heart is pulled in a different direction. 

Can you relate?

When you finally decide to stop dreaming about something and run after it full-force, even if you fail, it's a big deal! But what happens once you are in full stride and you're not sure if you'll ever reach the finish line? Do you stop and figure it out, or do you keep running and pray on the go?

How often do we focus on reaching the goal and forget the beauty of the journey? The time we spend studying, growing in our craft, or praying about it, is never wasted time. The fact that we are going after what is in our heart, is exciting! Of course there are boring parts  - creating websites, writing a synopsis, searching for agents, etc., is not fun for me, but they're still important. 

What God does in us during the preparation time is one of the most important parts of the journey! We must yield to the Potter's hand as He forms and prepares us to be strong vessels. If we aren't fully formed, we will crack under the pressure of the very thing we are made for. We must trust in His timing, remembering that He knows when we're ready to be presented.

But we must do our part to stay focused; not just on our goals, but on His leading everyday. Stay close to His heart. Don't waste time. Listen and move with His Spirit. Have fun as you move closer and closer to fulfilling those dreams!

Today's post is different. But I wanted to encourage those of you who are running after your dreams and feeling a bit frustrated in the process of fulfillment. We must keep our hearts satisfied in Him, and hear His direction and wisdom, in order to walk this out.