• 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,…

  • Introversion

    Grace Expectations

    A few weeks ago, right before falling asleep, I began stressing about the holidays. It was the strangest thing, because it is my favorite time of year. I was thinking about to do lists,  travel plans, family dynamics and how busy the next month could potentially be. Then I read this blog post, which put my mind at ease. This season isn’t one that has to be stressful or busy. We choose for it to be that way. The great expectations I had placed upon myself weren’t required. The author presented a challenge: “Write down everything you feel like you MUST do this holiday season, and then prioritize. What do…

  • 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…

  • 31 Days

    Hope Restored (#write31days-Day 31)

    I end this #write31days journey in a much different place than I began. It’s an unexpected blessing, which quite appropriately fits the title of my blog. While I had not lost hope prior to a month ago, it was much further in the distance and harder to see. Hope has been restored. The last two years as I finished this journey, I had momentum to keep writing. I feel the same this year, but with a different resolve. The challenge to write every single day had kept me going. Writing about a topic I believe in has given me hope for the future. I want to keep writing, I want…

  • 31 Days

    The Certainty of Hope (#write31days-Day 30)

    As I near the end of this challenge, I wanted to find a passage that was a true culmination of my journey of hope this month. This passage from Hebrews was spot on. 13 “When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.”[d]15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. 16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs…

  • 31 Days

    You Give Hope (#write31days-Day 29)

    I heard three different songs before I landed on this one to post today. The lyrics are a powerful reminder that our hope comes from God alone, who is worthy of all the glory and praise! You give life, You are love You bring light to the darkness You give hope, You restore Every heart that is broken Great are You, Lord   It’s Your breath in our lungs So we pour out our praise We pour out our praise It’s Your breath in our lungs So we pour out our praise to You only And all the earth will shout Your praise Our hearts will cry, these bones will…

  • 31 Days

    The Simplicity of a Saturday Morning (#write31days-Day 28)

    There’s something about Saturday morning. Whether you are up early for kids sporting events or got to sleep in after a night out on Friday, it’s a different sort of day. Even if you are on your way to work, the roads are less packed with hurried people who’ve got someplace to be. In the fall, the temps are cooler and the changing leaves crunch under your feet as you walk your dog or get in that morning run. Brewing coffee, pj’s, pancakes and cartoons fill the house with wonderful bliss. “Weekend” is certainly a wonderful term for many of us because it’s days or even hours at a time…