The Cure Before the Need

“God is good,” I said in class Tuesday night. “Goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” I said. Why? “Because I am with Jesus and Jesus is the Good Shepherd,” I said.  I went on to explain that God is trying to build our confidence that His Goodness impacts every area of our life all the time. And then it snowed.

Enough snow to postpone an event that I have been planning for months.  Ugh. My heart is busting with revelation. My team and I are all prayed up and armored up. We are chomping at the bit — and, the event is postponed. Really?

I wanted to whine. Or be sad or complain. But the Spirit kept repeating a line from a song we did in worship Tuesday night. “You are good, good. Yes you are good. You never fall off of your throne. You are good.”

God is so good that He is sometimes preemptive. I see that He gave me the cure before the need. The answer before the question. Instead of a “whhhhhyyyyyyy??” I am looking for His goodness.  He has raised a better question, “Lord what do you want me to do in the meantime?

Here is a short run list:
• Enjoy my kids in the snow.  My final prep crunch time has turned into a crafting, cooking, laughing with my family time.
• Take a deep breath and let go. Again. He whispered ever so sweetly to me, “there is no pressure here.”  Oh that’s right. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  This conference was about Him.  He can move it if He wants. I can trust Him in the details of getting the word out and rescheduling. (By the way, New Date is March 4-5!)
•Take a step back and review.  I can say a little extra time to pray, sort and refine really is a gift. He knew I needed that, I didn’t.

In the long run?  More time to worship, to listen, to get the word out, to move out of snow windows. Who knows what else He has up His sleeve?

But He is good. All the time.  So this weekend, I am going to snuggle up with the Good Shepherd and enjoy His snow. Hope you do the same.


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Fix it or Heal it?

I had this crazy encounter with God last week. The details don’t matter except to say that I was at my wits end. I had planted myself on my couch in desperation. I read my bible, I worshiped. I sat there crying, and crying out to the Lord, that I didn’t know what to do. I was hurting, and I needed to hear from Him. My heart was breaking and I knew I needed His comfort and  His wisdom.

“How do I fix this?” I feebly said.

First came a wave of comfort like a blanket around my shoulders. Then came a wave of peace settling my mind and spirit.  Then ever so gently came His reply.

“You’re trying to fix something. I am trying to heal something,” He said.


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Why We Need Kingdom Moms More Than Super Moms

Sometimes, it’s hard to get the ache and groan into print. So please, give me grace as this revelation comes into the light of day. I am stepping into the scary topic of Motherhood which always seems to circle back to Womanhood.  It started like this.

During one of my sessions at a retreat, I remarked that “we need Kingdom Moms more than we need Super Moms.”  My spirit  “gonged” as this comment rolled off my tongue. I noted the reaction and I continued my teaching. A couple of days later, one my friends asked me to give her some more words around what a Kingdom Mom looked like. Ahhh. Yes. That loaded comment…someone else heard it too. Dang it.

First, before we break this down, I want to affirm, recognize and challenge us as women.


I affirm us as we attempt the ever-demanding role of being mothers. We are all in process and God loves us in and through this beautiful, sometimes painful, process.  I have always said, “mothers are made, not born.” Every child, every season makes deposits in us as women, as mothers and these deposits change us over time. We are made into mothers.  Hats off to us for trying, for learning, for showing up. (Even when we would rather lock ourselves in the bathroom.)

I recognize the pressure cooker we live in. Do you ever listen to moms talk? We are Exhausted. Anxious. And Insecure. I get it completely because there is a lot of pressure to perform today. To be frank, some of the pressure may be self-created, but some of the pressure is socially driven.  So my observations are two fold. Some are based on my own personal healing from such distorted pressures and some are based on my sadness as I watch other women try to be something other than Kingdom Moms.

I challenge the status quo —the just the way it is — the everybody does it — mentality that keeps us stuck. You know this already, but let me put it in black and white. We take on and give out too many labels, false notions, and unreal expectations as moms, or, make that as women.

Here is an incomplete list of the Counterfeit Mom persona that we either wear or give to each other and the possible Kingdom alternatives: Continue reading

Beautifully Hard Lessons of Motherhood – Part Two

Like many of you, Chuck and I went through a ceremony with each of our newborns. Dedication, baptism, christening. Different words and rituals, perhaps, but these solemn moments were our humble expressions of thanks and need. We thanked God for giving us this child and we acknowledged that we desperately needed Him to be good parents. These moments were, in fact, acts of surrender. We understood it would take God to make us godly parents and thus raise up godly children. And yet.

Take a deep breath.

One of the most gripping and overwhelming emotions I see in parenting today is fear. Fear of sickness. Fear of un-coolness. Fear of being different, being picked on, or being left out. Fear of failure. Fear of lack of intelligence, beauty, popularity, or sports skill.  From the need to get all “A’s” in kindergarten (let that sink in a moment), to the need to wear just the right clothes, we fear that our kids may not “be enough.”

Widen out the lens to a bigger worldview and the fear factor only increases. Fear of not having a good job, fear of not marrying well, fear of not serving God, fear of not living well “enough.” Don’t even mention world tensions and local threats. We are consumed with the what-if’s.

We find ourselves living in The Land of Unknowns. From the child’s first night alone in the crib to the first day of school; from the first time driving behind the wheel to the first day at college; from the first kiss to walking down the aisle, we are forced into situation after situation where we have no control.


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When a “Good Wife” Marries an Porn Addict

I’ve heard the story too many times, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Good women who put their hopes into one marriage, one man, one idea, only to find out, after marriage, they married a porn addict.

In a very candid way, a porn addict is any woman’s nightmare. Prince Charming is not. The one true love is not true.

Some of us hoped against hope that we had found  a man who loved us for who we are. Some of us saved our virginity for this one person who  promised to honor us and to “forsake all others.”   Yet we found out that he valued his own needs and desires  above  all. I know it sounds callous.  But it’s true.  While all addictions are brutal,  pornography especially assaults a woman’s soul.  It’s a very strategic tool in the hands of the enemy to destroy the man and the woman. And marriage.

So now what? broken_heart_by_fastreflex-1We find ourselves in a marriage that is far from the romantic notions we held as young girls.  Instead of the cherished  ideas about being good wives in happy homes, we find ourselves in isolated and abusive relationships. We have become  helpless women in religious and social traps, where the “good wife”  is never supposed to leave her addict husband.

Let me try to clarify two things. Brace yourself.

1). There’s no such thing as a “Good Wife.”

2).  A man addicted to pornography has already forsaken his wedding vows. Continue reading

Five Days to a Better Marriage. No, really!


I am going way out on a limb to give a shout out for my sisters.  I have seen way too many women cry and heard way too many stories about good men who look like idiots, for me to stay silent anymore. I am asking you all to Man Up for your woman.  I’m talking about about the Big Five.

Not a football conference (although you could likely name most).
Not your favorite food or workout regimen.
Not even the episodes of your favorite show….
I am talking about the Big Five For Your Wife.

  • Her Birthday
  • Your Wedding Anniversary
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Christmas
  • Mother’s Day (if applicable, of course)

These are days that you get to remind her of why she wants to spend another year picking up your socks and listening to you snore.  These are the days that are similar to holding a newborn baby. The baby is so cute that mom forgets the pangs of labor. You want these five days to be filled with so much affection that your wife will forget the pangs of living with you all the other 360 days of the year.

Really?  Only five out of 365 days? I’d say this is a pretty great deal. Very, shall we say, low maintenance…

Yet some men seem surprised, even caught off guard, that they roll around Every Year. With all our modern devices and widgets and apps to make us smarter, it really makes women dislike their men all the more when their husbands “forget” the days that she has been looking forward to for weeks. Yes, for weeks. For women who are up to their eyebrows in changing diapers, or shuffling work, home or kids, these days pop up like little mini-mental vacations.  She looks forward to these special days with girlish delight that her man is going to spoil her, to treat her, to love on her. Finally, it’s her turn, after pouring out on everybody else all year.

I am not talking about spoiled rotten women.  I am talking about women who need reminders of why you fell in love with her in the first place, reminders that you still love her today. Reminders that she is the number one person in your life amid all the pressures of work, kids, and money.

To be serious, these are the days that you promised to remember when you said “I Do.”  It falls under that love and honor part. When you show up like a loser on these days, she feels like she’s a loser too.

Brothers, I know there are objections. I have heard them first hand.

What the men say:
I don’t have any (enough) money.
She’s never satisfied.
I don’t know how to do that.
What difference does one day make?
She knows I love her, why should I jump through hoops?

But have you heard what the women say?
Its not the money, it’s the effort.
If he would just try to make me feel special, I’d be happy.
I give him lists, ideas, even links, but he won’t do anything.
When he refuses to remember me, I feel like he is saying I’m not worth anything to him.
I feel unloved.

The most scary responses are from women who say, “I don’t need that kind of stuff. Anymore.”

Usually these women have given up.  Their husbands have let them down so many times that these women quit hoping just to protect themselves from the disappointment.  They love to call it maturity.  But the dark side of this reality is many times these women have shut down a part of their hearts too.  And men, this is never a good thing for you.

The male and female worlds may indeed be strange and gloriously different. We may seem like foreign creatures to you. Yet there is an inherent design and desire for oneness in our friendship and sexuality.  For the couples who call on Jesus, this desire for oneness is even greater because it embraces the  spiritual connection as well as the physical and emotional ones.

For far too many couples, the design is there but the oneness is not.

I see woman after woman who says her husband refuses to acknowledge her year after year. Don’t be that guy. Men are amazing problem solvers. Men can, and do, accomplish incredible things.  We know you have the ability. We just need to see you have the heart. For us. In action.

Brothers.  It’s only five days. Stop making excuses. Mark your calendars.  Remind your woman why she is lucky to be with you.  Trust me. You will be glad you did.

Your Daddy’s Joy Over You

Our friend Patrick is a first time dad.  It is a magical thing to witness a parent’s affection and delight for their newborn. Truly it is nothing short of a miracle when God opens up unknown chambers of our hearts for children, and then floods those chambers with a love that is gripping, shocking, mysterious…heavenly.

Chuck shared this story about Patrick and his baby girl.  IMG_1015

Maeve Love was learning to giggle. So Patrick would hold her over his head and tickle her and she would giggle with delight.  The more she giggled the more daddy wiggled and tickled his little darling.  And so they carried on for several minutes.

Suddenly Patrick realized there were tears on his face. His own tears. He was so overcome with love and delight, so enamored with his child’s response that he was moved to tears of joy.

“Isn’t that beautiful?” Chuck said, his own eyes full of tears in the retelling.

“That’s how God feels about us.” I whispered.

We sat in a silent moment of wonder together, letting the truth of God’s affection soak deep in our bones. Every dream, hope, and desire we have for our children only mirrors what is in our Father’s heart.

Daddy is crazy about you, about us. He rejoices over us with singing, he delights in us. And when we really let go and enjoy his presence, really just get lost in his love- giggling, squealing even- it moves His heart too.

Let God love on you today. It will do you both good.