Christmas: a story of the impossible

It will never happen. It’s impossible. I’m too broken.

Ever feel this way?

I know I have, in more ways than one. This week I felt like I was spinning my wheels and going nowhere. One step forward, a bazillion steps back. When great effort produces little results and our lives remain unchanged, hope dwindles. Continue reading

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Christmas: a story of promise

christmas of promiseWith all the holiday jingle and jangle, it’s easy to get distracted by all the trimmings. But I don’t want to miss Christmas this year. I want to focus on what matters.

I want to read the Christmas story with fresh eyes and renewed perspective.

Will you join me?

Because right now, this is a hard season. I feel overwhelmed. My personal life feels out of control. A reminder of loss, of dreams unfulfilled. Continue reading

Choose rest over stress this Christmas

choose rest over stress this christmasI may just go insane. It’s December and I’m already starting to panic.

In a whirlwind, we blew in the door this week after a long Thanksgiving trip with family. Two days of laundry, unpacking, working, meal planning – just trying to catch back up with life. One holiday down, another to go. The clock is ticking and the to-do list is growing a mile long.

It’s December 1st and my house is still full of pumpkins and leaves. No decking the halls, no Christmas tree, no fa-la-la-la-la. The calendar is chock-full of Christmas parties to plan, cookies to bake, cards to order, gifts to wrap, lists to make, stockings to stuff and friends to see. Continue reading

The 1 Thing Your To-Do List Won’t Accomplish

what your to do list won't accomplishWhen you retreat to a quiet place, it’s amazing how loud everything becomes upon re-entry.

We spent last week in the mountains, nestled in a cabin just above the treetops. Every morning the sun would peek through the blinds, gently nudging me awake. With a cup of coffee in hand, I would snuggle myself into a sweatshirt and pull up a chair to the edge of the pine deck. The sun would rise over smokey ridges and rows of mountain peaks as I stared out into a silent world. The chirping of crickets and rustling of bears in the woods were the only sounds vying for my attention. Crisp, cool air filled my lungs with every breath.

Peace and quiet. Solitude at its finest. Continue reading

67 Reminders When You Feel Like God Doesn’t Care

67 reminders when you feel like God doesn't careI’ve been a Jesus-follower long enough to know that the Christian life ain’t all rainbows and sunshine. It’s a journey with mountain top experiences and their valleys below. And in those valleys, the struggle is real. Sometimes in long seasons of suffering, it can feel like God is silent and far away. And you find yourself wondering, Does He see? Does He even care?

I wrote this for a dear one of mine who has been suffering in the sea of adversity; drowning in wave upon insufferable wave. At times it seems unfair. Unjust. Undeserved. Left with a broken heart and a million unanswered questions.

In our darkest moments, it can feel like God has abandoned us. Or that He has turned a deaf ear to our prayers. Or that He isn’t moved by our tears. But just because we feel that way, does not mean it’s true.

Because He is there. He does see. And He deeply cares. Continue reading

4 Ways to Hijack Your Stress Response

4 ways to hijack your stress responseOur current season of life can be summed up in one word. Stressful. We barely meet ourselves coming and going. Come to think of it, this season has been on repeat a lot lately. As in the past four years.

When words like “exhaustion” and “burnout” become part of your normal vocabulary, there’s a problem. “When we are overwhelmed with excessive stress, our life becomes a series of short-term emergencies.” We live from one crisis to the next. We lose our ability to be present and enjoy the moment. Go at full speed for too long and the crazy train is sure to derail.

The good news? You don’t have to live this way.

Stress is a choice. It’s optional.

Sound crazy? I thought so too. Until I did a little research and was shocked by what I discovered. Continue reading