Embracing Mystery & What If’s

Embracing Mystery &Have you ever battled a bad case of the “what if’s”?

Have you ever caught yourself in the middle of the night drifting down a path that leads you to meditate on the worst case scenarios?

For me, that’s usually when it happens. When I am so tired that it takes me longer than normal to realize where my thoughts are drifting to a dark, hopeless place. The other night while I lay in a half awake state, I felt the Lord challenge me. He said, “what if you began to imagine that situation turning out better than you expected?”

We know that worry is wrong. We know we aren’t supposed to fear. But we if there is something we can do on the offense when it comes to our thoughts about the future. Did you know that this is actually biblical hope?

Hebrews 11:1 says,

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (ESV)

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (NLT)

Do you see that? The author of Hebrews is giving you permission to put your faith in an unseen realm. Here’s the reality – you are already investing in the unseen realm. Your mind is already making decisions about your future. Your mind whether conscience or subconsciously is making assumptions about how things will go.

worry expectancy

Here’s the thing – God gave you your imagination! He meant for it to help you in life. And today, if you aren’t already, you can begin to lead your imagination with the truth of who God is.

Let’s look at Romans 8:24-25 in the NASB –

“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”

Hope dwells in the unseen realm. That’s exactly where we need hope! We need faith to lead us into hope for all the areas that we cannot see. I like to call it embracing mystery.

When it says “we wait eagerly for it” in Romans 8:25, it’s the Greek word apekdechomai. The translation is “to expect, look for, to wait for.” God is giving you permission to have expectancy to see His goodness invade the very area that the enemy wants to stir up the “what if’s!” God is not just staying, “stop worrying!” He is saying look at that unseen realm and imagine my goodness invading it. With every unseen area in our life we don’t have to be a victim to fear and worst case scenarios. We can begin to partner with the Holy Spirit and faith to conquer those fears!

What would it look like if God “worked all things together for your good?” It’s okay to think about that. It may not happen exactly how you think it will, but it will help you to learn how to operate in faith rather than fear. Does dwelling in the “what if’s” help you deal with bad things that happen? In my opinion, NO. However, if my belief system is that no matter what God is working all things together for my good, that brings tremendous freedom no matter what circumstances I face!

Today I pray that your imagination will be transformed to a faith building mechanism that looks for the goodness of God to invade your life!



If you’d like more on Embracing Mystery, click on this link to find my 21 day devotional on hope.

3 reasons you need to get over the things you aren’t good at

photo-1421809313281-48f03fa45e9f When I ordered our cable two weeks ago they asked if I wanted to pay to have someone install it, or if I wanted them to send me the “easy connect kit.” Little did I know the phrase is an extreme oxymoron. After an hour on the phone with tech support, and talking to FOUR different people, a girl finally offered to send someone out. Yes please. In case you didn’t already pick up on this , I am a do-it-yourself type. When I was 18, I once installed a CD burner on my computer without ever opening a computer before. I have no idea how I did that. Believe it or not my dad used that very computer until recently. Bless him, and yes patience is a strength of his. But lately, I am becoming more comfortable with the things I am not good at. I often see cute little signs on Etsy, and think I can do that. So rather than paying the $80 for the sign, I make a sign that looks more something from a murder scene. Helpful hint: if you are out of white paint, go buy more before crafting, red paint cannot be substituted for white paint! Here’s the realization I am coming to, it’s okay to not be good at everything. The need to be good at everything is actually rooted in pride. God has designed each of us with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses so that we need one another. Can we just go back to bartering people? Alas, here are 3 reasons we can all let go of the things we aren’t good at- 1. It lends to a healthy society. In a healthy society and community we need each other. Whether that’s exchanging services or paying for services that contributes to the economy around you. We are designed for community and a healthy interdependence with those around us. 2. It frees you up to spend time doing the things you are good at! What do you do really well? What are friends always asking for you help with? When we are willing to admit our weaknesses, we find freedom to pursue the things we are good at. If you are trying to do everything yourself, stop. Odds are you aren’t doing much great. 3. It will be far less frustrating for you and those around you. I am not doing my husband any favors when I continually try to do-it-myself. He’s taught me that sometimes you just need to hire someone. There are times when my confidence has grown us and we’ve realized we can do more than we thought, but there is a balance with this. Often humility says I need help with this, while pride says I can do and I know the best way.* I may or may not have gotten lectured by our apartment maintenance guy for trying to open the water heater cover a couple weeks back. It did spark and I did jump. Thankfully I am still here working on letting them do their job while I do mine. *If you’re not sure which camp you fall into, ask your spouse of your best friend. They can probably tell you if you need to let go of some of your to-do’s or if you could grow in some confidence and try some new things. I am going to write about living in your strengths another day, but for today I wanted to share some ways to become free concerning your weaknesses.




I’ve been drawn to this verse the last few days.

“These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

Colossians 2:17

It’s surrounded by verses about human regulations.  Paul is revolutionizing the way they think, behave, and receive.  Because Christ “having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross”. (Col 2:14)

All of this was a foreign concept to a society governed by following rules, making sacrifices, and trying to measure up.

He is giving them {and us!} permission to retire from this way of thinking.  He is defining freedom in the person of Christ, rather than behavior.

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.”  (Colossians 2:9-10)

One translation says you have been “given fullness in Christ”.  The new covenant is more about receiving what He’s already done for us than about following a set of rules.

These verses are a reality check for me.

Am I more concerned about rules, regulations, and behaviors, or am I aware that the fullness has already been given to me?

Is my attention more on my disciplines than what He already accomplished on the cross?

The real zinger is in verse 23-

“Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”

As I retire from the old mindsets based on works and performance, my focus should be-

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:1-2)

He came to set us free and that we might have life and life abundantly.  Let’s not get entangled by human regulations.  May it be said of us that, whatever we do, whether in word or deed, has been done in the name of Christ. (Colossians 3:17)

Let’s retire these old mindsets, and walk into the promised land that the cross has already purchased.


laughing at the days to come…


she smiles at the future… (nasb)

she laughs without fear of the future… (nlt)

she can laugh at the days to come… (niv)

she shall rejoice in time to come… (nkjv)

and she always faces tomorrow with a smile… (message)

Proverbs 31:25b

Don’t you want people to say this about you?!

It’s a new year, a new day, a new season.  God wants you to have an emotional reaction to your future{and that doesn’t have to be fear!}.  He is a good Father with good gifts, who withholds no good thing.  He takes us from glory to glory.

This is one of my favorite verses.  This is God’s heart for us.  He is a Father who longs to place identity in us that beams with strength and dignity.  He longs for us to embrace a hope {confident expectation that good is coming} that brings us to the point of joyous, loud, until your stomach hurts laughter when we look to the future.

I pray that today you are “clothed in strength and dignity”  and that you can smile, laugh, and rejoice in what tomorrow will bring.

Facing fears today about the future?

Give those fears to Him.  He loves you so much.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Give up your right to understand.  He is bigger.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

Now that we’ve let go of the fears of the unknown, we are free to embrace the mystery and the adventure that our Good Father in heaven has for us!


schedule, rhythm, and values.


“there are very few ‘normal’ weeks, maybe 2 per year.” – steve backlund

my career began in a maternity home.  sure we had a schedule for all of the staff that worked in the house.  some days it even said 9-5.  it worked most some of the time.  pregnant woman can be kinda rude and especially the teenage ones seem to enjoy interrupting sleep.  i often got calls at 2am to take a girl to the hospital.  when i lived in the house, there were many middle of the night knocks on the door.  (don’t tell, but i kept tylenol pm close by for those who were far enough along to take it.) don’t judge me until you have lived in a house with 12 pregnant girls for at least a year.  then you have full permission to judge.

after over 2 years there, i moved across the country to washington dc to be a part of a house of prayer.  for a good portion of the year, my hours there were actually 9-5, only it was 9pm to 5am.

now, my husband and i travel an average of 10-20 days a month.  we are blessed to spend our days together pouring into something so much bigger than us.  on the road, sometimes our hours look more like 5-11pm.  sometimes the alarm clock goes of at 3:30am, so we can catch the 6am flight. then at home, our schedules are more relaxed, scattered with meetings/responsibilities at our local church, and one on ones with friends and people we are mentoring. and rest, that beautiful glorious thing called rest.

although predictability, schedules, and rhythms are nice.  i’ve found another way to not only survive but to thrive as the life of ministry ebs and flows.

i choose to live from my core values rather than waiting for a normal week.  they are all to rare.  i can’t watch  life slip from my hands until everything is nicely predictable in my day planner.

a couple years ago, i sat down and wrote out what my core values are.  that is what dictates my schedule.  my schedule does not dictate me.  i want to be known for living a life of purpose and passion, not for how full my schedule was or wasn’t.

These are my core values…

1. Intimacy/Prayer- I cannot thrive without a strong emphasis on intercession and the secret place.

2. Purity- I long to represent my Love and Savior well through what I do and say. I am passionate about walking in purity in my thoughts, actions, and relationships.

3. Rest- I desire that all of the ministry in my life stems from abiding intimately with my heavenly Father, my Savior, the Holy Spirit. I have a high value of living from the place of the finished work of the cross. I don’t want to work to pay for things that have already been purchased.

4. Home- I have a strong need and love for creating home wherever I am. I have a high value for safety and creating atmospheres where others feel free to be who they are.

5. Communication- I have a high value for good, honest, and honoring communication.

6. Family- It all begins and ends with family. Therefore it is vitally important how the years between birth and death affect those closest to me. I long to be a blessing to my family and led them closer to the heavenly Father.

7. Joy/ thankfulness- I see thankfulness as a huge asset to joy and contentment. I want my lips to be constantly thanking God for his goodness and therefore ushering in His Presence. I want my laugh to be a familiar sound to those who know me.

8. Beauty and Creativity- It brings me life to make things beautiful. I want to see people and things thriving in their best form.

9. Health- I have a high value for pursuing healthy ways of living, and to be consistently improving in this area.

10. Connection- I have a strong need for healthy, thriving connections with others.

11. Intentionality- I will live my life with intention and purpose, passionately pursuing the things and people that God calls me to.

Do you have core values?

What are they?

The truth about marriage.

Now that I have a whole 2 months of marital experience under my belt, I think it’s high time for a marriage post.

The truth is that I just think some of the rambings in my head may be good to get out, and possibly they may have the weight of freedom on them in some way or other.

As I think about marriage this morning, this verses come to mind.

“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Isaiah 43:2

I know not your typical marriage verse, and I could use a dozen others.  But today the things that comes to my mind in the topic of overcoming.  Perhaps all of life and even christianity is about this.

I like talking to other newly married couples, because you realize that all of us have things to overcome, especially when combining two lives that functioned quite smoothly alone.  I am thankful beyond measure, because I am married to the humblest, most gracious man I know.  My heart swells at the thought of him.  I love that man more than anything except Jesus.  In the tense moments, I can count on him to quickly round the corner, apologize, and once again pursue my heart.

And those my friends, are the qualities that really matter.

My qualities I was looking for in a spouse were humility, honesty, and humor (okay and maybe handsome too).  I found him for sure.  He exceeds my expectations in all of the above.  I adore the man.

So back to overcoming, every couple of individual is always facing new giants in the land.  And the beauty and challenge of marriage is choosing to be together as you pass through the water.  Every relationship has different giants, ours won’t look the same as yours.

We are all gaining victory and taking lands through this process.  We are all being prepared for things beyond our wildest dreams.  We are all fighting to gain freedom in a new area.  If we aren’t we should take a good look at our life and make sure that we are actually moving forward!

If you are single, let me encourage you by saying, everything doesn’t fall into place at the pronouncement of “mr and mrs …”  It’s a whole new season of learning to overcome and grow in faith, and daily choosing to fight together for the new lands.  But don’t lose hope, “He withholds no good thing” (Psalm 84:11).  And marriage is a very good thing!

If you are married, more than likely you have way more experience at this than me, but please allow me to encourage you to cling to your spouse in the battles to overcome.  Be it wanting a baby and not seeing that reality,  having more babies that you feel like you can handle, stressful finances, a big transition, a challenging teenager, lack of communication, frustrating expectations, whatever it may be, chose the journey together and allow it to bring you closer.  There is a call and a destiny on your union.  Re-commit to overcoming the obstacles together.  “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor” Ecclesiastes 4:9

Happy Saturday!