At the cross You beckon me. You draw me gently to my knees. And I am lost for words so lost in love I'm sweetly broken, wholly surrendered.

Monday, September 2, 2013


I've always had a Type A personality.

This may come as a surprise to anyone who's lived with me because I'm very messy. I wouldn't call myself a slob, but I'm pretty dang close. For some reason, organization always takes a back to seat to whatever I'm doing.

But yes, I'm an overachiever. I am performance-orientated. I like list making and subsequently checking things off lists. I'm prone to anxiety, and I'm very self-critical. I find myself focusing a lot of self-management and wanting to portray a certain image of myself to friends, peers, professors, employers, even strangers (ridiculous I know!). I'm a people pleaser.

Thankfully, God in His grace has been working a lot on me and my performance related struggles. Yes, I still struggle, but I guess as Tim McGraw would say, "I'm better than I used to be."

So yesterday, I'm sitting in church and the pastor starts a sermon titled "Lessons in Limitations." I internally roll my eyes because I can't do an actual eye roll. For some reason, I really like to be beat up and convicted in church. I like sermons about sin, idolatry and the deep heart issues that no one likes to talk about. God-given limits seemed kind of boring in comparison, but I got out my sermon journal and prepared to take notes as I always do. Little did I know this sermon was going to hit me hard.

Fast forward two and a half hours. My friend and I are hungry after church so we decide to go to Pink's Hot Dogs, a local hot spot and hot dog stand to get some after church grub. We've been waiting outside in this hot 90 degree weather for at least 30 minutes to order. The wait has actually been enjoyable. We've been chatting and catching up and trying to decide what the heck we want to order. There's all types of dogs like a Lord of the Rings hot dog which comes as I'm sure you can guess with onion rings on top. There's hot dogs with nacho cheese, sauerkraut,  bacon, jalapenos, you name it. This place is a glutton's paradise.

We're almost to the front of the line where you place your order. All of a sudden I feel like I'm going to pass out. I feel short of breath and dizzy and I need to sit down. I have to sit down! I let my friend know I feel horrible and somehow manage to collapse into a seat in the shade of the restaurant that has just opened up. I'm wearing a dress, but I feel so weak that I forget about being a lady and slouch in the chair trying to cool down and compose myself. I need water. I need food. The half of a blueberry muffin that I ate on the way to church was too long ago. My friend tells me the free water has just been refilled and I manage to stumble over to the jug and fill up a paper cup for myself. I fall back into my chair knowing people are watching me. Yep, I'm a hot mess, but I don't care. I take deep breaths. Sip my water and pray that I'll feel better soon. Sooner than later. Give me strength, Lord. Give me strength, I pray.

I wish I could say this is the first time I felt dehydrated/faint/weak as a result of lacking food and water and standing up for a long period of time, but this is probably the fourth time this has happened in four months. I go about my life thinking I'm a limitless superwoman, but I'm not. I'm limited. Very limited. I need food and water and sleep. I can't go, go, go all the time. I have to stop and rest and take care of myself. This is what the sermon was all about.

He's God. I'm not.
I am limited. He's not.

There's is only so much my body can do before I get to end of myself. There's only 24 hours in a day! So there's only so much I can do. I can't do everything and be everything to everyone as I often want to be. I need to trust that God will take care of the people I love when I can't. After all, He is the King of the Universe and He created them!

Another realization was that I perform to gain the approval or commendation of others. But why? As I learned years ago, from the amazing Bob Fuhs when I went on my missions trip in Ocean City, New Jersey, I am AAA (triple A) sealed! I have God's acceptance, approval and affection. I don't have to go through life searching for this in place after place. I have this guaranteed, signed, sealed and delivered in Christ. What good news!

Lord, would you help me to live my life inside the limits you've given me. Would your Spirit constantly teach me that I'm limited. I can't do it all. Instead of this leading me to despair may it lead me to You, a God who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and who does not grow tired or weary. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Today in church I found myself wholly distracted by the infants surrounding me. Not only were they adorable, but they seemed to be staring right at me. I kept trying to re-focus on the sermon and then a baby would coo or smile and I was gone again.

It's so cool that God put this yearning and desire in me, right? A yearning to have children and be a mother and a wife. I just get stuck when I consider that these yearnings may not become my reality.

We sang a song with the lyrics "Lord, I love you more than anything." As the church sang in unison, I prayed that God would make these words the theme of my heart. After the song ended, I found myself once again completely wrapped up in the precious babies and what they were doing.

We're so fickle.
We yearn and desire and want and want.
We hope and pray He'll meet our desires.
But today and every day He knows what's best.
And He's better than any of the gifts we could ever dream He would give us.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Faith on Fire

I'm a horrible blogger. The past two months or so I've really wanted to write. It's just hard to condense everything I want to say into a nice and neat little post. Isn't it funny how we often want our lives to be nice and neat when God pretty much guarantees that life is going to be messy? Anyway, I've resolved to update more often because Shelterwood is definitely in need of prayer and I want to share about the ways God is moving here!

Last Tuesday, a director from Kanakuk Kamps came to Shelterwood to encourage the bigs and littles. He brought with him one of the most powerful prayer warriors I've ever met: a 14-year old boy. The small boy who has cerebral palsy sat tiny in his wheelchair but his presence filled the entire room. He prayed that the littles could know God and trust in Him. He prayed that they wouldn't feel guilty for the people they've hurt and the reasons that they were sent to Shelterwood but know that they're forgiven. In a booming voice, he prayed that enemy would depart. His prayer was deep and sincere. He continued to plead with God to act "right now" believing that God could and would follow through. It reminded me of Mark 11:23 when Jesus says:

I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, "Go throw yourself into the sea," and does not doubt in his heart but believes what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

Tears filled the eyes of the littles as the boy prayed clasping his mangled hands together. I could hear sobs echoing across the room. After the prayer, the teens gathered in a circle around the boy and told him how much they appreciated his prayer. One of the most difficult boys, who has been hostile to religion said the prayer spoke to him. "I had to come talk to you," the teen said. "I could tell there was something different about you."

After the talk and prayer time, the girls headed back to the girls house. A little who got to program a week ago asked me to take her outside on the porch. We rocked in rocking chairs for a while and I could tell she was thinking very hard about something. I asked her what she thought about the prayer. "It was incredible," she said. "As he was praying, I felt the burdens and guilt I've been carrying lifted off my shoulders." She paused. I asked her what she had been feeling guilty and she told me about her family and home life. I told her that we are all sinners who fall short of the glory of God. I explained that despite the horrible stuff we do God loves us and sent His son to die on the cross for our sins so that we don't have to feel guilty anymore. She nodded. I could tell she was tracking with me. I asked her if she had ever trusted Christ and she told me no. I asked her if she wanted to and she said nodded. Right there on the on the rocking chairs she repeated after me and prayed for salvation. It was a sweet, sweet moment. I looked up into the beautiful fall sky afterward and thanked God for using me.

The day proved to me that God is moving at Shelterwood. It doesn't always feel like that but He is. I'm excited to see this little continue to grow in the Lord and embrace who God has called her to be!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ups and Downs

It's hard to believe I've been working as a big for just a little over two weeks! Every day here literally feels like three days!

My journey so far has been like a roller coaster ride. One minute I'm super encouraged by the changes that are occurring in the lives of the teenagers and the next I'm questioning whether I made the right decision coming here. I've never experienced so many different emotions in 24 hours. Often I feel inadequate and unqualified for this job. I've also really been questioning my identity as I find it difficult to be myself with this brand new group of people.

Through all the ups and downs though, I've learned that I have to rely on God and other believers for support. As a human I'm guaranteed struggles in life, but that does now mean I have to struggle alone. That's not what God intended. My co-workers have quickly become my second family: encouraging me in the hard times, speaking truth into my life, and spurring me to show God's love to these littles.

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. -Galatians 6:2 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I'm a writer. I'm a journaler. Now I'm a blogger...

Four days ago I arrived at Shelterwood, my home for the next year. Shelterwood is a residential treatment facility for hurting teenagers. This program is often a last resort for parents who are unable to control their 14 to 18 year olds. Teens in the program struggle with everything from drug and alcohol addiction to self esteem issues to depression.

Through this program, teenagers or "littles" are able to work through their struggles and ultimately learn to make healthier choices. They go to a fully accredited school on the property, take part in therapy sessions with licensed counselors and begin the healing process alone and with their families.

My job as a residential care worker or "big" will be to live life with the littles. I will help them with homework. I will make sure they are getting along with other littles and not fighting. I will make sure they follow house rules (boy there are quite a few! ) and discipline them when they do not. I will make Sonic runs with them and watch movies with them before bed. But most important of all, I will show these girls Christ's love and that He is able to help them even in the tough spot they are in.

This job is really a dream come true. It's as if all my passions have been combined to create this place.

The past few days I've been getting settled in. The other new bigs and I have to complete over 100 hours of training before we can really begin working closely with the littles. I know this will be a difficult year but I'm so excited to see what God will do! I'm so excited for the posts to come!!