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A Cultivated Life Blog Content

This page includes a long list of blog titles from earliest to oldest. Images have been removed to make it easy to scroll through titles that may be of interest. 

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Scripture Talks About Unity in the Body of Christ

In a divisive world, it's important to remember that division is the enemy's plan, not God's. It's an attitude of heart and mind poised against Christ. [socialpug_tweet tweet="Divisiveness is not the same thing as having a different opinion, it's when your opinion...

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What Can You Do if You or a Loved One Wants to Die?

A lot of us are feeling sluggish, or struggling to feel motivated. For some, the impact of isolation hits harder than ever. Gaps in relational connection become more evident. Staying connected with those we have relationship with outside our homes takes a lot of...

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4 Ways to Cultivate Empathic Connection in Relationships

Ever find yourself struggling to know what to do or say when someone you know is struggling? When their crying, or upset, or unusually quiet? Have you ever felt dismissed or unheard in conversations with others? Perhaps you've done the same to someone else? I've...

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What Does a Life Coach Do?

A life coach is someone who helps you move forward in life. This can be done in person, online, or on the phone. Life coaches usually focus on helping you grow and improve in one area of life. Some coaches focus on physical health, financial wellness, career pursuits,...

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Cultivate Remembrance When It’s Hard to Be Thankful

November brings awareness to thankfulness more than any other time of year, at least for Americans. (Except maybe Christmas depending on how we position the holiday in our hearts.)  I see thankfulness in meme's, in blog content, in online spaces, and community...

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What Christians Need to Know to Find a Good Counselor

This post is part of a series focused on helping Christians find, navigate, and consider healing options through counseling. There are many options and opportunities so you can find a good counselor for you. Other articles include: What Type of Counseling is...

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What Kind of Counseling is Available for Christians?

"I'm thinking about counseling, but I don't know where to start. What kind of Christian counseling help is available? Who'll provide what I need?" When I started my healing journey, seeking a new way to live, I hesitated going to counseling even though I saw it as a...

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When Forgiveness is the Last Thing You Want to Do

When you're wounded, forgiveness is one of the last things you're excited about doing. You might want to heal your wounded heart, but forgive? Instead, anger surfaces. Indignation appears. Outrage over what's happened takes center stage. Or, you hide and tuck yourself...

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When Life Takes You Down, Find A New Way To Live

When I crashed, I crashed hard. I could barely get out of bed anymore. I thought I needed rest for a day or two to make up for all the activity of fostering multiple children in a unique set up in the country. Those days turned into weeks. Tears lived on the edge of...

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Four Powerful Tips to Break the Trap of Shame

Breaking the trap of shame involves more than positive statements and trying to get ourselves to believe positive things. Yet, we're prone to grasp every mantra that sounds good and rings true, with the hope that somehow we can start living that way. We need positive...

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5 Things Christians Ignore to Deny God at Work

Please note. The examples shared here, of ways we use God to deny God at work, which include phrases we say and scriptures we use, indicate possible obstacles to a cultivated life. They may also be used in well-intentioned helpful and healing ways. Truth is...

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We Don’t Have to Understand to Walk Alongside

It started in the garden. This need to know. How things will work out. Why this happened. What to do next. And how others should live. It stunts our ability to grow. I'm not talking about knowing God intimately at a heart level, but trying to know about God which...

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Stop Using God to Deny God at Work in the Struggles of Life

A friend posted her frustrations on Facebook. I grimaced as replies quickly dismissed her experience. Feelings and thoughts invalidated by cliches and hyper-spirituality. Yes, hyper-spirituality is a thing and it's costly to Christians who want to live well. We're...

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It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, Here’s Why

Are you feeling OK? Our typical response it a quick, "I'm fine." Even when it's not true. It really is OK to not be OK. Even when others don't know how to handle this truth. You don't have to make yourself OK to be OK, in fact, attempting to do so might keep you from...

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Emotional Healing to Unleash Your Soul {Plus a Podcast}

There have been more days than I can count where I lay in bed struggling to get up again. Heavy sobs fluctuated with numbness. The blankets that covered me a metaphor for the way I felt covered and hidden from a world that moved on without me. Somewhere inside, I...

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Motivations That Build or Destroy Our Ability to Live Well

If someone gives you a gift, you might feel good. Whether or not you're prone to want gifts, gifts motivated by love are nice. Right? But, if you sense that they're doing it out of obligation, or what they gave is something that offends, or it is irrelevant to your...

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When You Lose Your Emotional Cookies

I lost it last night. Not my cookies. But it might have seemed like it since a lot of junk came out of me. I guess you could call it losing your emotional cookies. Is that too icky? The truth is like that sometimes. It's just plain messy when we let God work in and...

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When You Want the Ending of Your Hard Journey Now

Plastic gingerbread pieces and visions of scrumptious lands beckoned childhood wonder. Candy Land’s cards with colored blocks and enticing images meant hidden possibilities. Just the right draw placed you on Rainbow Trail or Mountain Pass, ahead of everyone else. One...

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Does God Care About the Details of Our Lives?

My friend Tammy asked this question a slightly different way, "Is God interested in the details of our lives?" This discussion has come up over the years in different places. Some say God is interested in every single detail, down to the color of clothes we wear. Some...

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The Raw Story Behind Unleash Sheets

Nearly three years ago, I was in the throes of a really hard situation. Out of that time, God birthed something new through me. It became a tool that would help me hear His voice, feel the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, and experience emotional healing and...

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I’m Asking for Help and Here’s Why

I frequently hear from Christians who struggle knowing what to do next. They want to do well. They want to serve, to love, and live well, but they don't know how to move forward in circumstances that are tough, tiring, and confusing. When life doesn't go well, they...

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Permission to Deal With Minor Losses That Feel Big

Over the last five years I've purged a lot of material things from our home. Getting rid of these items took courage and decision making which are hard when losses pile up. If I cry in front of you about the way some of these losses impact my heart still, you might...

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Who Will Go First? When Suffering Stays Hidden

Goodness, watching the news or scrolling through social media can make you sad and glad. Can’t it? Just this week, I watched two powerful videos that had me grinning from ear to ear. I smiled with tears, moved by beautiful stories. But in the span of two days, tears...

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Can a Christian Be Humble and Also Courageous?

Humility is a topic that both scares and entices me. It's a weird pull and an internal struggle because I want it and I don't. Maybe I'm not the only one who's wondered, how can you be humble and also courageous? Aren't the two concepts in opposition to each other? I...

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A Prayer for the Battle-Weary Soul

The last couple of weeks have been H A R D. Situational pain spoke loud to my heart and soul for days on end. When the mind knows what the heart needs to remember, there's a battle waged. The two aren't in alignment and that right there is enough to keep us trembling...

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Admitting the Need For Help and Seeking EMDR Therapy

Here's a little real life moment for ya', lest y'all think everything is honky dory for all your peeps when the reality is many are hurting and secretly working through really hard stuff. My heart's been pretty raw the last few weeks. There are many reasons and...

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Breaking Tradition to Love Where You Are

I'm breaking tradition this year. I love traditions around special days because it gives me a sense of comfort. Fondness for the way mom built positive moments into my childhood drives me to create the same for my kids. Not everyone can look back on holidays and...

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Sow Seeds of Faith Today, Whether Life is Bleak or Bright

When life looks the bleakest, the power of Christ shines the brightest. It's in these dark moments where we see our desperate need for Jesus more clearly. His power to strengthen us becomes most evident. But, sometimes it takes awhile to see it. On days when I lay in...

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When it’s Hard to Admit Selfishness

I hate being told I’m selfish. The thought of someone thinking I might be selfish makes me cringe. I hate it even more to find out that I have been selfish. Running away from the truth seems preferable. Deep down, I know I am self-obsessed to some degree. We all are....

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On Repealing Pride and Brave Surrender

God’s been repealing pride and revealing brokenness and it hurts like heck. I’ve raged. I’ve sobbed. I’ve let Him keep digging because the work He does is always good. When circumstances seem to happen to you, it’s easy to assume the other is the greatest offender. In...

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Hang on to Hope {Guest: Dr. Michelle Bengtson}

Welcome special guest, Dr. Michelle Bengtson to the blog today. She is a neuropsychologist well acquainted with depression, medically and spiritually. Her book "Hope Prevails" and the follow-up Bible study, have helped many who struggle with depression, or know...

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Chase Hope When Emotional Triggers Take You Down

> I got triggered. A week ago. When triggers hit, emotions flood like a tsunami. It comes at you fast and furious and it's easy to think you're drowning. In a way you are. In a way you're not. Emotional reactions fill the body with significant physiological...

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The Hard and Holy Gift of Thanks

Every November, scores of Americans turn into heralds of thankfulness. The call to give thanks shows up in our advertisements, our social media feeds, our decor, and it fills our minds. Every year, many hearts struggle for the weight of grief, or loss, or separation,...

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God Let Me Down, Now What?

We say funny things as believers. Well, funny as in a little weird. But not funny for the way they cause us to stumble in our Christian faith. The saying below is one of them. It implies that God will not let me down. But He will and as hard as it is to believe, this...

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Prayer Makes A Difference, Maybe Not the Way You Expect

My guttural groans might get so loud you'll hear them in your living room. Can you hear me now? It happens when I hop online. Oy. Social Media you slay me.  So many voices. Dissension rules the roost of our hearts and minds. Rival banter remains impartial between...

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Are You Waiting & Praying but Nothing’s Changing?

I pray. I plead. I beg on my knees. I want something big and I'm sure God wants it too. Surely, if it's a good thing and it lines up with what God desires, then I should get it. Right? When any of us pray fervently for months and years, it's easy to wonder why the...

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Is God Calling You to Step Out in Faith?

Is that really you, God?   Should I move?   Should I stay?   One Option: Nah, that doesn't make sense. I'll just stick with what I know.   Another Option: Hmmm...maybe it is you. I don't understand it though. It sounds awfully hard, or too small....

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Permission for When You Need A Different Kind of Change

We spent last week in Washington state pursuing a kind of change many of us don't talk about much. At least, not in the faith circles I'm familiar with. Generally, when it comes to dealing with loss, trauma, and hard circumstances, we talk a lot about prayer. And we...

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How to Know if it’s Self-Denial or Self-Devalue

The other day I set out to do something I thought was pretty cool. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. But, sometimes what I set out to do doesn’t turn out quite the way I think it will. I was reminded of a story I’d read many times before. Since I thought it might be...

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How to Stop the Never Ending Game of Approval

Approval. An overused word with a haunting impact for many. For people-pleasers like me, it's a way of life. The approval way of living becomes a crushing weight of dying. Thankfully, with Christ, death precedes life. There is hope. Sometimes, we know deep inside that...

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One Thing the Overwhelmed Christian Can Do Right Now

I’ve been wrestling with a tough decision lately. It’s tough because it means facing the reality of what’s on my plate and the fact that it’s overloaded. The truth is, I’ve done it again. There are so many things I want to do, that I say yes. Yes, yes, yes. Lord, let...

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Start Where You Are, No Matter Where It Is

The door slammed. It wasn't a two-year old in the home, just the two-year old in me. Whatever hard circumstances happened just before resulted in an explosion of anger and overwhelm. Nothing feels good about reacting strongly. I don't want it and those around me...

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A Way To Be Broken Together

Shattered remnants of broken relationships and unhealed remembrances make my heart lurch. My mind gets tangled up with thoughts of the things I’ve said and done as well as what’s been said and done to me. If I’m not intentional about capturing these thoughts, and...

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What Do You Really Want In This Life?

I'm weary today. If I told you of every day I felt weary you'd grow weary of hearing it. All too often I ask myself, "Do I stick with this theme of cultivating a life well-lived? How do I keep writing about it when I experience numerous challenges that make me feel...

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A Prayer for When the Days are Hard

Father God, We're in battle. This battle is one you're intimately familiar with and one you've fought. The enemy seeks to destroy us through every avenue. Through the good things we experience and the bad. Somehow he finds a way to get us feeling weak, disoriented,...

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There’s Always More to the Picture

I shared an image on Instagram which filled me with delight. At the same time it made me cry a little too. I felt uneasy about something. I couldn’t help but wonder what my photo story invoked in the hearts and minds of others. I thought of the mom or dad who is...

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If You’ve Ever Been Awakened in the Night

I awoke at 2:25 AM. Again. Ruthless thoughts tend to permeate my mind when I lay down with nothing to distract me. Sometimes I can't stop the replay of hurtful words and broken dreams. Depression and I have danced off and on for the last few years despite a heart...

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How to Live in Divisive Tension

I’m tempted to quit social media these days. Discord reigns thick and I’m out of breath. The tongue lashings so strong I second guess my resolve to write and rise up as a faith warrior. But then I realize it’s not just social media stirring up turmoil. It’s...

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Why I Went To Church When I Didn’t Want To Go

When familiar feelings of depression loom close, and the enemy’s roaring a bit louder, it’s easy to want to stay in bed and shut the whole world out. Sunday morning, howling winds outside only exacerbated the swirling feelings inside. I did not want to go to church....

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Can’t I Just Have A Normal Life?

Can I just say, the last couple of months have been hard. Like downright, knock you off your feet, curl up in a ball, and weep kind of hard. Frankly, I'd say the last 4 years have been this way off and on. But then, I realize I might say this a lot. Depending on what...

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Hope for A Weary World at Christmas Time

Christmas has always held an incredible sense of wonder, particularly in childhood. Our family carried out traditions which helped me feel safe, secure, and loved. I've passed this on with a desire to rekindle old memories of joy and begin similar flames for my...

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The Prayers We Neglect

A few months ago, I had the privilege of speaking to a group of women at family camp. Actually, I did little speaking, leaving a whole lot of room for engagement and interaction with the women. What I saw unfold brought tears to my eyes and indicated the Holy Spirit's...

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The Mystery of Thanks in the Midst of Trials

When reading or hearing this verse, I've been known to cringe a bit. Not as much today as I have in the past, but still…does it get to you as much as it does to me? It's right there in the beginning of the book of James. He begins his address to God’s people dispersed...

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If We Really Want to Have it All {Choose Surrender}

As I look back and consider the reasons I've lived stuck, I see many. I see them now as I've fought hard to know the kind of freedom Christ offers, realizing there must be more to this Christian life than the pain and suffering I've known. God's shown me things like...

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More Than Words {Choose Forgiveness}

Can you imagine the likelihood of such a scene? A host of angst-ridden engagements between three young boys. Accusations yelled out, grabbing and taking implemented, and even the wild facial taunts and bodily aggression. Shocker. Imagine those times when children, and...

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Caring for the Whole You {Choose Wholeness}

For as much passion as I pour into the belief there is always more peace, joy, and freedom to know in Christ, I also wholeheartedly believe in the value of finding healing for the whole person. This can look differently for different people and in different seasons....

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What Does it Look Like to Walk in Faith? {Choose Steps}

I can’t tell you how many times I think I know something one minute, and the next I have no idea what I was just thinking of. In some ways its similar to what many of us deal with as we get older, as we become parents, and as life just gets busy. However, this kind of...

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When Things Are Not As You Wish Them To Be {Choose Praise}

Sometimes I wish I could stop being me. All the things I don’t like about myself come rushing to mind and I must realize the enemy is active or I’ll get caught in a downward spiral. I bet I’m not the only one. The enemy and his horde of followers, they are liars and...

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Finding God in Sabbath Delight {Choose Rest}

My head hurts and I think a cold is starting to settle in. Actually, it could just be allergies getting the best of me as they tend to do. I went allergy free for a few weeks which was a miracle, but they’re back. Darn it. I’m sitting here wondering what to write. How...

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When Unfulfilled Dreams Break Our Hearts {Choose to Grieve}

When I’ve laid in bed suffering the effects of depression and anxiety, dreams sparked here and there but I had little energy to do anything with them. Still, I fought hard for those dreams to not die out completely. Somehow, I knew that if I refused to give them space...

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Beyond the Mountain Top Experience {Choose Remembrance}

There are times in many a believer’s life when they have what is referred to as a mountain-top experience. Maybe it happens during a church service, or at a retreat/conference/event as loads of excitement generates, or through worship and prayer as hearts are set on...

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Come, Lord Jesus {Choose Prayer}

“God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food. Amen.” This simple prayer has been said by many children over the years. Perhaps you know it too. We used to pray a different meal time prayer. It had a before meal and after meal part, but since none of us...

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Will You or Won’t You? {Choose Obedience}

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. ~ Jeremiah 33:3 Me and God, we’re wrestling today. A bit of a tousle really, and it has me all kinds of worked-up. Maybe you know what that’s like. Have you ever felt...

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How to Be the Best You {Choose Sanctification}

Upon entering the world of writers in an online age, I found myself realizing how false my quick judgments can be and how often I assume wrongly. For one, I have a tendency to assume that every one I meet has the same value system as me. It’s kind of not a safe...

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What Confessed Sin Gets You {Choose to Receive}

I don’t exactly delight in giving God my junk. For some strange reason, and I think perhaps I’m not alone in this, it seems preferable to hold it all in than to give my worst to a God I know to be vastly good and pure. Why in the world would I dare to think He wants...

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What If This is All We Have to Give? {Choose to Give}

When you reach “the end of yourself”, what does it mean? To some, it means they are out of options. To some, it means they have nothing left to give. To others, it means they are suicidal. For a believer who’s been chased by a loving God and repeatedly nudged to let...

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Yes, We Can Be Brave {Choose Courage}

We’ve been tackling some potentially challenging stuff in this series, 31 Choices We Can All Make When We Feel Stuck. How are you feeling? What thoughts have you been having along the way? The thing is, feeling stuck can look like a lot of things. Like not moving...

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How Did We Get Here? {Choose Awareness}

Our nation feels incredibly polarized and tenuous these days. The current political climate promotes feelings of fear, scarcity, helplessness, arrogance, outrage, and a whole lot of head shaking. As I scan my feeds, I see many opinions as well as a whole lot of people...

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The Scary Way Into Freedom {Choose Confession}

A couple months ago, I made an open confession to being a self-obsessed woman. Sometimes I can’t stop thinking about all the ways things should be and how to fix them. My strengths are in learning and gathering input as well as responsibility and connection. I want to...

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My Heart is Hugged {Choose Community}

My heart is hugged. I told a friend this recently in response to her words and care. Several others in my community have done the same in the last few weeks. These are important moments to remember and hold on to because there tends to come a time when forgetfulness...

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Beyond What We Want to Believe {Choose Acceptance}

The famous emperor strutted his stuff in front of all the people in the land. His elegance was grand. His fashion impeccable. Everyone would see. Everyone would know. He was without clothes. A young child declared the state of things as he saw it and a ripple of truth...

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Honesty Makes Way for Healing {Choose Honesty}

How are you? Fine. It’s what we all say. People like me might be willing to give a longer answer, because sometimes you just want to spew it all out. But the reality is that most people aren’t interested in knowing more. Someone once told me that if they are...

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When the Day is Hard {Choose the Holy Spirit}

Today is a day I wish never existed. It’s one of those days where it seems like all the stops have been pulled out and everything within you wants to shake your fists at very same God whom you long to adore. Ever been there? Would you admit it? Part of me clings...

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What Will You Ask For? {Choose Help}

When I think about the way we forge our own trails or the ways in which we might feel helpless and stuck, I think about how often we need help but aren’t willing to ask for it. Do you ask for help? If so, what kind of help do you ask for? Are you looking for others to...

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When You Think You Can’t {Choose Activated Faith}

I heard a woman on a call-in radio show the other day. She began to share her story before asking a question, as most callers do. One claim after another stated how everything was happening to her. How people wouldn’t call her back. How the church wouldn’t acquiesce...

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When Things Get Hard and Freedom Follows

I've really wanted to throw in the towel the last couple of weeks. More than once. I've wanted to hang it up. Call it quits. Just stop trying to write and pursue all these things I know God put in me to do. Because, man, it got really tough. Spiritually, emotionally,...

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To My White Friends in the Wake of Another Shooting

I'm taking deep breaths today. It's been one long crazy week on top of other long weeks and seasons. Part of me wants to disengage completely and part of me wants to roll on with spirit-led gusto. Anyway, after an insane number of tech issues and a plethora of words...

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An Open Letter for the One Whose Child Left Home

A few weeks ago, in one of my Facebook groups, a woman put out a call for prayer because her teenager left home before turning eighteen and they were hanging out with dangerous crowds. My heart immediately jerked and I wanted to lunge forward and give her a hug,...

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Facing Death and Life While Finding the Goodness of God

I’m sitting here working on a long list of to-dos and suddenly my heart breaks open. My camera snaps a photo of my to-do list journal and when I look at it, before posting it to Instagram,  I’m stopped in my tracks. The irony is thick. The contrast enough to strike me...

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An Open Confession from a Self-Obsessed Woman

I want to keep this post bottled up inside. I don’t really want to write it for all kinds of reasons. I could tell you it’s wiser to keep it to myself, because over-sharing and all. I could also tell you it’s safer to live without telling others about our faults. Or,...

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A Call to Know Joy More by Knowing Happiness Better

Can you have joy without a little happiness? Or dare I say, a lot of happiness? Could you dare to pursue happiness while continuing to love holiness? This question of joy without happiness may seem odd. I know several who love God and live with a pursuit of happiness...

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If You Say You Believe, Does it Mean You Do?

I met Jennifer on Twitter a few years ago during a very dark time of life. My world was crashing in on me and I was spent physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We had returned from our time fostering on a ranch where we lived for fourteen months and had up to...

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How to Move Forward in Faith When Fear Cripples

  Y'all, can I just say? God's timing is sometimes crazy hard while still unbelievably good. A few weeks back I put down on paper a few thoughts about this topic, about how to move forward in faith when fear cripples. At the time, I had no idea God was going to...

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Coming Together Among Racial Tensions

We arrived late to church today, which is unusual for me. I like to get there in advance and acquire my familiar seat so I can worship close to the front. Better yet, I like to be on the end where my hands and arms can worship wild. I don't want to miss a moment. As...

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Learning to Listen and Finding the Courage to Speak Up

I’m staring at the computer screen knowing I need to write something, but not knowing what to say or do. My heart is hurting deep and wide, and not just for the level I feel personally but for the anguish felt by many. How can I speak up and listen all at the...

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From Sitting in Darkness to Standing in Brightness

A few years ago, prior to moving to "the ranch" where we fostered many and my life became forever altered, I set out to paint our home in pretty much every room and living space. On the southeast side, a long stretch of wall turned golden yellow. One accent wall in...

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A Journey Of Incremental Healing in Natural Ways

Over the last three years I've taken intentional and incremental steps towards healing. A LOT of them. It's been hard, it's tested my resolve, and it's brought greater strength, enhanced courage, and significant freedom in the long run. Maybe you heard a little about...

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What To Do With Our Pain If We Want To Live Well

It took me days to write the story of young Grace and how her father declared the goodness of God in the face of her tragic death. My emotions caught me in my throat as I became engulfed in a flood of feeling. I have not known this kind of loss personally, but I have...

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God’s Goodness Declared in the Face of Tragedy

How is it possible to proclaim the goodness of God in the midst of tragedy? How is it possible to offer forgiveness so unapologetically to the one who caused said tragedy? I can scarcely believe it, but I’ve seen it happen. Last week, I heard of it again and I am...

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Find More of God by Embracing More of You

Did y'all see the BIG glasses I wore recently? If not, the pics are below and on Instagram. Oh my, the silliness that happens when you grab these strange things on your way out the door. You see, we attended this fabulous appreciation event for volunteers at our...

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When What You Need is Just Around the Corner

What if the thing you need most is right around the corner but you can’t see it? I had the privilege of attending training yesterday for a great tool called, Kendall Life Language Profiles. I’d have all day in a nice meeting room, with catered coffee and amazing food,...

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Three Things to Help Us Have Hard Conversations in Love

The other day I posted a status update which wasn’t quite in line with my typical word sharing. It’s one I wondered about later. I wondered if it was wise or foolish, brave or stupid, and if I should have left alone the current hot topic of the day altogether. In the...

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When Joy Is Hard to Find

For much of my life, the word ‘joy’ hung ever before me. Taunting me like a dangling carrot I could never grasp. Others seemed to have it already, but I didn’t know if I ever would. Joy seemed foreign. Exclusive. Most definitely, joy seemed elusive. As I’ve wrestled...

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The Surprising Way To Be Brave

I’ve been talking about bravery lately, particularly with those who participate in my Rise Up Writers group. "Be Brave," I say. And I believe it. I wonder, though, if my attempts to encourage others come out with the scent of tainted waters. Because, for many of us,...

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What You Need to Sow for Faith to Grow

Recently, Daddy D and I altered our plans, ones we’ve had in place for many years. Before I agreed to the change, I choked up inside because I knew. Deep inside, I knew. It’s time to let go. Again. With deep breaths and the allowance of a few tears, I made this subtle...

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Hope for Dark Days

When the news flashes images of more murders, more rampages, and more outbreaks of evil, we become painfully aware of hurt and suffering in this world. The days feel dark. It all seems too much and believers wonder, "Oh Lord, how long? How long must this continue?"...

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When You Surrender Your Good Thing for a God Thing

This story chokes me up like crazy and it reminds me why God is giving me the word 'Surrender' for the year. Because when we release our idea of what must be God because it's good, we find out how really good ideas can be when they are God's. In this year of...

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Pursuing the Intentional Life: Episode 1

Y'all, I'm a little shaky here. Excited and nervous all at the same time because my good friend, Susan Seay, has agreed to take a wild adventure with me. We're both not sure how long this will last or what form it will take in the future, but we're incredibly excited...

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I Do Not Fit In, I Fit Out

For the last few weeks my hubby has been asking me (repeatedly) to watch a cartoon movie with him. Y’all, this is not typical. We reserve family friendly shows for family time, but he’s been asking me to watch this one with him even when our kiddos weren’t around....

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Learning the Truth About Surrender

This post is long overdue. I knew I needed to write it weeks ago, but maybe my stubborn heart just couldn’t go there yet. I don’t know. But, I’m writing it now because I must. I'm choosing to surrender. There’s this thing online which bloggers do, it’s about picking a...

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When You Want the Way Which Seems Good

At least once a week I plan my grocery trip & store routes for all the pickups, returns, and drop offs. I like to be efficient so I plan them in order. Then I list my items on Cozi and estimate the time I need with a little extra for extra events which may occur,...

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The Way of Struggling and Finding Need

Sometimes when I sit down to write, all I know to do is pray. So I leave my blank screen and head for journals filled with desperate pleas among testimonies and praise. I need to get the yuck out and the words which stick on my insides. In the confines of private...

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On Charlie Brown and Unbroken Hope

When I was a child I used to ride my bike to the local library and sit for hours. The old stone building with it’s multiple floors and intriguing design drew me in as I sat on the floor between shelves reading book after book of Charlie Brown comic strips for as long...

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A Letter of Encouragement for Your New Day – Today

Dear one, Breathe. Breathe in deep. Today is a new day. As the day comes to a close, or your day is in progress, may I offer this reminder? You are deeply loved, highly valuable and uniquely positioned by an all-knowing God to live the life prepared for you....

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What Our Hearts Need This Christmas

For at least 30 years I've played the same Christmas music every Christmas morning. Amy Grant's original Christmas album is a must have for the moments planned just right. Like when the fireplace blazes, egg nog awaits and every one sits calmly positioned to open...

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Keep Showing Up Even When It All Seems Small

Two weekends ago I looked forward to a quiet evening hibernating alone in our closed-in garage while the rest of the world went door to door for Halloween. After all, no one needed to know I was there in the windowless room. I didn’t want to run to the store. Or pay...

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Keep Showing Up When Faith is Hard to Do

For several days in a row, and hours on end, I’ve stared at my computer or fiddled at my desk wondering how the words would come & what to put down. I considered a blogging break after Write 31 Days, but I have work to do. Like an overdue newsletter for Rise Up...

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Believe Who He Is & Whose You Are

Here we are, at the end of this #Write31Day challenge. Yesterday, I mentioned how my writing took a turn from what I planned. Originally? I thought about pointing to the things of God which we can believe in. Like His character, His goodness, His steadfastness, His...

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Believe Better Together

Dear reader, today is the second to last day of Write 31 Days, 31 Days to Believe. If you’ve stuck with me this far, can I just give you a big, hearty thank you? I mean it. You bless me with your presence, your stories, your words of encouragement and how you let me...

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Believe in Emotional Authenticity

Maybe it’s hard to hear, tough to read and unpleasant to think about. Those stories of trials which one endures. Like the friend who deals with chronic illness, still. Or the one who deals with anxiety & depression and can’t seem to move past it. And the ones who...

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