• Faith & Life,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    2017 Year in Review: A Huge Learning Curve

    I am very thankful for high school US history and government classes for giving me a basic understanding of our democratic system here in our country. But this last year has been a huge learning curve for me in regards to what happens every day in each of our three branches of government and how it impacts so many lives. I will admit that since I became a voting member of society, I had chosen to be ignorant. I didn’t like watching the news. The brokenness of our political system was too much to bear. It was easier to remain ignorant. …Until I realized how human lives are affected. No longer…

  • Faith & Life,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    2017 Year in Review: New Adventures

    2017 brought some new adventures, with travel to some new places, visits with family and friends and meeting new people! We had family visit from Michigan and got to experience a few of our favorite places (and some new ones) through the eyes of our 4 year old nieces! Jack and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary with a short trip to Rehoboth Beach. We had heard rave reviews about the beaches in Delaware and we loved it! 8 days after surgery (Dr. orders were a week on the couch), I got on a plane and headed to Salt Lake City for a Jamberry conference! I have been a consultant…

  • Faith & Life,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    2017 Year in Review: Physical Endurance

    I am planning to send a few Christmas cards this year, but they won’t include a review of 2017 from the Phoenix family. So instead, I thought I would write a few blog posts (and include pictures) to review the year. I came across a note I wrote to myself for individual priorities for this year and thought that I would reflect on some of those across a few posts. I have been blessed with great health in my mere 30ish years of life, but the last couple had been a bit of a struggle, with no real answers on what exactly what was going on. It was rather frustrating…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    Forgiveness

    This weekend I was struggling with forgiveness in regards to processing several particularly difficult situations. In a conversation with my spouse, he shared some Scripture and a devotional exercise. I am used to being the one leading the Bible study or devotion, so it was nice to listen and also a surprise, as he is not religious at this point in his life. Yet, we talk about God and faith quite often, and I am thankful for his perspective. A Bible passage that has always resonated with him is the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant in Matthew 18. 21 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    God Will Not Delay

    Earlier this week I had a terrible interaction with someone I care about. It left me in a state of mind I thought I had rid myself of a few months ago. It took me back to a darker time over the summer, when life was really messy and many relationships were strained. I was angry at myself and the person I interacted with because I thought that counseling, time and many conversations had helped me move on from this dark place. Things were far from perfect, but they were better, more hopeful. It took less than 24 hours to improve my state of mind after this interaction, which completely…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    The Devil is in the Distractions

    As I formulated this post in my head, I kept thinking about the themes of Satan’s presence in this world and all of the things that were distracting me this past weekend. I thought, isn’t there a phrase, “The Devil is in the distractions”?  When I googled it, I discovered the phrase was, “The Devil is in the details.”  I guess I just came up with a new phrase…one that I wish would rather not exist. This past weekend brought to the forefront of my mind, a few examples of a broken world and many distractions that kept me from focusing on God. On Friday I learned of a tragic situation,…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    We Need Jesus

    It’s been almost two weeks since my last post and I am not on the track I intended with regular posting this month. Many thoughts have been swirling in my mind, but none of them have landed on this blog,  my journal or another spot. In a sense, it’s been overwhelming not to be able to process in this way. At the same time, I wanted to give myself grace and space. A few things have happened in the world that I thought would compel the formulation of thoughts into a post, but they never came to fruition. Last weekend’s tragic events in Texas certainly caused me to pause. Instead of…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    Love Conquers All

    I just heard this song on the radio last night. It was on a Christian station, but definitely stylized as a country song. I would have normally changed the channel, but this song transcends the genre it was created in. The lyrics are a powerful reminder of what we have experienced in our lives and in our world in recent months and how history has shaped it all. These give words to many of the feelings I’ve had a hard time expressing in a meaningful way.   Dear Hate I saw you on the news today Like a shock that takes my breath away You fall like rain, cover us in…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    For All the Saints

    One of my all time favorite hymns is “For All the Saints”. Nov 1 is All Saints Day and the first week of November has always been significant for me in honoring this church festival. While there have been more contemporary versions of this hymn created, the original tune still brings tears to my eyes. The significance for me is that my maternal grandfather died on Nov 2, 2000. While it feels like a lifetime ago, similar to other anniversaries, I find significance in remembering the loss, grieving (even if just for a moment), but also being reminded that grandpa and many other family and friends are celebrating in their…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    It’s Time to Speak Up

    I have many thoughts swirling in my mind this morning (and it’s now afternoon, which is how long it took me to write this post). I hope I can share in a way that is concise, but there’s so much to say. Just yesterday, on my early morning run, I listened to a sermon that was convicting in how I am to love those who are hardest to love. That has been a real challenge for me in praying for our national leaders. And then last night, when I had hoped to go to bed, resting in the knowledge of an extra day off from work, I hear the news…