Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I have all these pictures in my head of what my life is supposed to look like, or what I want it to look like.

Graduate high school, go to college, finish graduate school, get married, work a few years as a teacher, start a family, stay at home and raise my kids...

Then I have specific pictures within the bigger ones that I expect played out. I want my husband to be a strong Christian, I want my kids to be happy and healthy.

None of these things are wrong, they are what most people want and expect of their lives. But I have to remember not to get so caught up in my pictures that I don't let God work in my life.

He has pictures too. Only His pictures are way better than mine.

I can share my pictures with God. I can tell Him what I want from life. However, I have to be alright if they aren't what He has planned.

Sometimes, things don't always work out the way I plan them. And looking back, sometimes they are so much better, even though I never would have wanted it to happen that way.

Look at Jeff's accident. I never wanted to take care of my husband as if he were my child. I never wanted to sit next to him in a hospital room while he lay unconscious.

But that accident changed everything. If it weren't for that accident, we wouldn't have the marriage we do now. I wouldn't have the job I do now. I wouldn't have been able to witness the miracles I did. I wouldn't have the same relationship with Christ as I do now. I wouldn't understand what it's like to be completely dependent on God and know that it's ok.

My life took a major detour. But we are so much better because of it.

I have to remind myself, as the pictures start to form, that I may still get what I want, but it can look drastically different than what I expect. It will be God's way though, so it will be better than anything I can dream up.

Thanksgiving is this week, so what am I thankful for? I am thankful that God knows what I need better than I do. I'm thankful that He doesn't shield me from difficulties in life, but instead carries me through them. I'm thankful that I am learning to let go of my "picture perfect life" and allow God to create His own masterpiece in us. I'm thankful that I'm not in control.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I've been thinking a lot recently about changes in people, or the lack of changes.

I look at myself, and most of my core values are still the same as they were in high school. Minus my "wild" moments of course. However, I think that I am a drastically different person than who I was back then.

I was a Christian then, but my beliefs were based on the legalistic side of things. I was definitely a hypocrite. I didn’t understand grace the way I do now, nor the relationship aspect of being a believer.

I try now to be more open minded and forgiving. I recognize my own faults more readily. It just makes me wonder though, if someone I knew 10-15 years ago would see me know and think nothing has changed.

I want to live a life so different from the world, that it is obvious. I challenge you to do the same.

Don’t be the same person you have always been, allow Christ to transform you. Even if you are already a Christian, the Holy Spirit should be evident in your life. While we can never achieve perfection this side of heaven, we should be striving towards it.

This isn’t something that we can do on our own, it requires the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Allow Him to not just make you a new creation, but allow Him also to continue molding you into the image of Christ every day.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sharing Your Hurts

I don’t know if I was just oblivious before Jeff’s accident, but since then, I’ve known a lot of people who have had brain injuries. My story is out there now, so people definitely reach out to me more now than they did before.

It has also made me realize how many people have endured some type of tragedy. Whether it’s a brain injury, a heart attack, cancer, the loss of a child, and the list goes on… most people have endured something difficult in their lives.

However, instead of sharing the story, we often keep it inside. We don’t want people to feel sorry for us, or look on us with pity, so we don’t say anything.

But we have gone through it for a reason. Maybe you haven’t figured out the reason yet. By sharing your story with someone else, they may have new insight that could help you come to terms with it.

It can also help the other person come to terms with their own tragedy, if you would just share with them.

It’s difficult to share our hurts with others. We fear judgment, vulnerability, and looks of pity. Or maybe, we don’t share because we don’t want to burden someone else with our problems.

But what if it is the one thing that will bring hope to someone else’s life? You don’t have to share every detail, but when you open up your life to others, it opens a path of healing.

What have you gone through that you are afraid or think would be a burden to share?


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Let me count the ways...

I have tried Christianity many ways over the years.

I tried living a split life, with God being in only the parts of my life that I felt comfortable with. Then lived my own life separate. I had my Christian friends and my other friends. I was a different person depending on who I hung out with.

I tried turning my back on God and living my life completely apart from Him.

I tried the legalistic route. Religion became a checklist of to-dos and not to-dos. Go to church, read the bible, pray, go to bible study. Don't drink, don't cuss, don't hang out with certain kinds of people.

I tried doing the "right" things so that God would bless me. I looked for something in return when I did something for God. "God you want me to tithe? Sure, as long as you bless me in return."

But I never found the true peace and joy that the Bible claimed I should get. I still felt like I was missing something.

It wasn't until I began to form an actual relationship with Christ that I found that peace and joy. I still had the lists of dos and don'ts, but instead of it being a checklist that had to be accomplished, it became a tool to know God more fully.

I realized that it is more about love than obligation. I do what I'm told in the Bible not because I have to, but because I want to. I know that it pleases God. Not that I could ever do anything to earn my way to heaven, Christ already paved that road for me.

I love Him, because He first loved me. 1 John 4:19

He continually shows me His love, and I want to show my love in return. So I try to do all the "Christian" things. But it's no longer a requirement or a chore, it's an expression of my love and gratitude.

So I've come to realize, it's not about what I do, or the way that I try to be a Christian. It's about the relationship. It's about knowing God on a personal level, rather than as something distant and as someone I have to work to please.

The relationship changes everything.