• blog update,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    My Word for 2021: Endures

    We have made it to the last few days of 2020! It’s hard to believe and a relief all wrapped into one! I love how this last week of the year is one of reflection and planning. I love the hopefulness and energy to start fresh. God constantly reminds me that I start fresh each day as I wake up to His new morning mercies. Whether it’s a new year, a birthday or just a new season, God provides all that we need to start anew. I looked back and discovered that I’ve been selecting a word for ringing in a new year since 2014. This has been a wonderful…

  • Advent,  Inspired,  unexpected blessings

    Let’s Celebrate like it’s the First Christmas

    We are experiencing grief and lament in this season because we are going without many of our regular traditions. I am continually reminded that Christmas 2020 is probably much closer than we realize, to the first Christmas when Jesus was born. Did you participate in a nationwide census? Look to Mary and Joseph: “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. Luke 2:1-3 NIV Did God call you to try something new? Adapt to your surroundings? Learn flexibility and…

  • Advent,  blog update,  Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    What if Jesus was born in 2020?

    Many of us are ready to put this year in our rearview mirror and look forward to 2021. Yet, each of us could also name so many blessings that God has provided. If we look at the whole, it’s an overwhelming mess, but let’s look at it through the lens of our Savior, Jesus. What was it like the year Jesus was born? Was the year as hard as what we have all experienced in 2020? I venture to say it certainly had its challenges. King Herod was ruling in Jerusalem. Herod and his family were domineering despite being practitioners of the Jewish faith. And when Jesus was born, the…

  • Advent,  Faith & Life,  Holy Land,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    2020 Reflection: Savor

    The season of Advent seem like the perfect time to reflect on this past year and begin to look ahead. Here’s the post I first wrote about how I chose this word and the Scriptural connection. It started rather silly with a gift we purchased for ourselves at Christmas time last year. After we were married, Jack and I decided we would not give gifts to one another for the holidays, but that travel or an experience would be our way to make memories. An unexpected financial donation came to us and we decided to purchase a fancy coffee machine! Each morning that I’ve gotten to use it, I’ve SAVORED…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    Sharing Our Experiences of Grief

    I preface this post with the acknowledgment that I have an AMAZING support system and community of care in this season. I can freely write about this topic because I have a safe group to process with and I’m so thankful for that safety net. I’m doing pretty good right now, but there’s peace in processing through my writing and I know there is power in sharing our stories to help others, too. I started writing this post on an anniversary of a difficult event and almost a week later, I finally have processed enough to share. It’s been a lonely season of grief. In the midst of loss, God…

  • blog update,  Faith & Life,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    Savor 2020: Christmas in July?

    In early April, I shared this update on my 2020 word, Savor. It’s been three months, and so much has changed as we continue to navigate this strange season of life together. If you are catching up, here’s the first post, as in recent years, I’ve picked a word or Bible passage to focus on throughout the year. We are halfway through the summer and over halfway through the year and we’ve reached the consumer driven celebration of “Christmas in July,” even in the midst of COVID. I think about the amazing news and celebration of Jesus’ birth, and how much Mary must have treasured being a new mom and…

  • blog update

    Moving Forward

    I began writing this post back in May, and as I contemplated sharing today, I realize that I can just add to what I began to say here. I am proposing that the following statements are true: God is our Creator. Jesus is our living Savior! The Holy Spirit is with us and lifts our prayers to God. God’s love is bigger than all of our fears. We aren’t going back to the normal we once knew. That last one is probably the least popular of all the statements I just made. I’ve heard so many people say, “Well when we are back to normal…” or “I can’t wait until…

  • Faith & Life,  Lent,  unexpected blessings

    An Easter Perspective

    It’s Holy Week. This one is much different than the rest, at least the ones that I have experienced. We are in a time where fears need to be acknowledged and thankfully God’s Word doesn’t make us wait to receive the Gospel. We are all struggling with the idea that we won’t be together on Easter. It’s real grief, but this sentiment reminded me that the first Easter was also observed separately by the followers of Jesus. 19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with…

  • blog update,  Introversion

    3 Weeks

    In 2006, I traveled to New Orleans with my college classmates to participate in relief efforts post a hurricane known as Katrina. Three weeks later, in early April, I was back at school and struggling with some emotions. As I showered, as I did on a regular basis, I broke down in tears. What was wrong with me? Where did this passion and anger and sadness come from? I realized, as an introvert and extremely slow processor, that all the mental and emotional anguish of what the Katrina victims had experienced, and what we had assisted with, had finally caught up with me. Fast forward to last Friday. It had…

  • Faith & Life,  Holy Land,  Lent,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    Savor: A Reflection

    Since this strange season began just a few weeks ago, I have been reflecting on how I have been taking advantage of my 2020 word in these first few, long months. In late December 2019, as I selected the word ‘Savor’ for 2020, I imagined the opportunities that would arise. When I selected the word “Savor” this is the verse that came to mind. On January 1, 2020, I woke up in the middle of the tour of a life time of the Holy Land, savoring every moment of that trip. On January 10, 2020, I woke up in my own bed, ready to enjoy 3 more weeks of rest…