Showing posts from June, 2021

Anniversary Reflections

As a wide-eyed, naïve 26-year-old I had no idea of what I was in for when I said the words, "I do!" Our journey has taken us from being seminary students to working in the inner city to rural church planting and now back to a small city. It has spanned thirty-three years of diapers, health crises, disabilities, extended family issues, blessings and conflict. We have worked our way through personality quirks and flaws, as well as giftings and growth. Our faces show age lines as well as stress lines. Ministry is not always easy and at times, our marriage has felt the stress of what was happening in our ministry-life. Being in full-time ministry is not for the faint of heart and if you let it, it can wreak havoc on your family life.  We've been through death and loss, life and love. This past year has been a year of stormy seas as we dealt with the loss of my grandmother, my mom, a move and new job, Covid, my own depression, and changes in the way we handle having adult chil

When You are Feeling Deflated

I should have seen it coming. Every time I have a spiritual retreat where I come away feeling encouraged and inspired, something comes out of left field and deflates the balloon of happiness I feel.  As I listened to words of complaint, it was as if someone took a pin and popped my balloon.  Negativity is always difficult for me because it leaves me feeling lacking. Much of that comes from being a child who was told that no matter what I did, it wasn't enough.  When I feel that way I generally don't respond well and it's hard to remain objective. It's a weakness in myself that I keep bringing before the Lord and while the initial negative emotion may rise up, I'm working on not reacting to it. God is good because in the aftermath of my emotional and internal struggle, I happened to see a video which taught me a good lesson about my value in God's eyes. The speaker in the video took a large monetary bill and asked the audience if they would like it. They said, &q

The Lens of Thanksgiving

I headed out to one of my favorite places to walk after dinner tonight. I was the only one there and it was peaceful and relaxing.  I walked, I prayed, I worshipped and just enjoyed the time alone. This week has been a good one and I'm so thankful for the many blessings that God has given me. Some are big, but most are small and are easy to miss unless you are looking. My desire is to always be thankful for my life.  Circumstances can be difficult, and life isn't always easy, but I don't want to waste it whining and complaining. I've been around people who seem to be emotionally tied to their circumstances and it just seems exhausting to me. When things are good, they are happy. When things go wrong, they are miserable.  I want to accept what comes my way and while it obviously wouldn't be something I choose for myself, I want to accept it with grace. That is only going to happen if I continue to live with thanksgiving.  I normally do these posts on Monday mornings,

You Do You

  I want to encourage you today with a lesson from a cowbird. One year a Phoebe bird built a nest on our porch. I came out to peek in the nest and found a broken egg on the floor of the porch, Yet, when I looked in the nest there were still four eggs. However one of the eggs was speckled and it had not been there before.  It turns out a cowbird came along and knocked one of the Phoebe eggs out of the nest and lay one of it's own. They are notorious for doing this. They basically lay the egg and abandon the chick and let another bird raise it. When the eggs hatched there was a cowbird chick who was much bigger than the others. It definitely looked out of place and awkward. I kind of feel like that Phoebe chick at times. I will go along just fine and then something or somebody will trigger insecurity in me. When that happens I'll wrestle with feelings of inferiority or being unimportant for a few days. And it's silly. Insecurity can be very crippling when it happens. Perhaps

The Hope of Glory

This week Dan and I have sat through our denomination's National Council meetings. This takes place in various locations around the country every two years. This year, they gave the option of being able to participate online due to the pandemic. And so we opted to go that route. They were very long days of being online, but I'm thankful we were given that opportunity. I always find it very encouraging because it is a wonderful reminder and re-stirring of the initial call God placed on my life. It's easy to forget that at times, especially as we get bogged down in the day to day details of life and ministry.  For myself, this was an especially meaningful time because it's been such a rough year for me. I have allowed depression, negativity, loneliness, and anxiety to take over. And to be honest, I've put expectations on myself and my ministry that were outrageously unrealistic. And because they were unrealistic it just added to the feelings of discouragement. I'v