Guilt-Free 2018

There’s a message cluttering the path of women everywhere. Like a rocky mountain trail in the dead of winter, we step the best we can–over, around, past it. But there are always more rocks under our feet. We step and step and step wearing out our hiking boots, and eventually we all stumble over it.

I can’t do this.

Maybe someone else can, but not me.

I’m not a successful person, and I don’t know how to be.

I’m not a good mom.

I’m not a good wife.

I’m not a good friend.

Why did I ever think I could go after my dream?

Each phrase we hear is slightly different, but the message is always the same. It’s a rock poking into our feet, tripping us up, causing us to turn an ankle, waiting for us to fall. The unspoken, negative words against who we are & what we’re accomplishing in life. We stumble as we look at all the other women out there:

*Pursuing a career & achieving success

*Serving in a thriving ministry & realizing their calling

*Committed to a loving marriage & raising a God-centered family

*Living a fulfilling life & enjoying healthy relationships with close friends

There are many other things we can look at, besides our God-given purpose, and slowly we allow those things to sink deep down into our hearts and minds. <Just scroll through social media to find them.> Do we realize how we’re allowing these images of others to steal, kill and destroy so many areas in our own lives?

*our contentment

*our joy

*our purpose

So we reach for…


All the comparison, envy, striving, etc. can easily lead to feeding on this lie. It’s beautiful, it’s popular and all the pretty people have it. Packaged in kraft paper wrapping and covered in glitter cellophane, in bistro letters the label reads: #ALLTHETHINGS. We think it’s real. We post it all on Instagram and tweet it on Twitter, but when we open it to eat of its contents, there’s nothing but the stale, week-old, moldy bread of GUILT inside. 

Now what do we do? We get angry because that’s not what we ordered from life. It’s not what we paid for. It’s not what we waited in line to receive. We look over to see a strong, content, understated woman sitting at a table of this restaurant with a plateful of fresh baked bread big enough to share. Real butter coats the crispy crust and drips over the sides of the loaf onto the bistro plate, and all at once our heart realizes. This.

This is what we wanted all along. The Bread of Life.

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When we take in the words of Jesus–our Bread of Life–and feed on His Word, we are sure to be filled. There is no guilt when we are feeding on this goodness. The Bible says we will never hunger and never thirst. No more hunger for the next thing around the corner. No more thirsting after the success of others. No more worrying about whether we’re making the right choices. No beating ourselves up about where we are in life.

We feed on the bread of life and now we find we have it all. Our lives no longer feel hungry. We throw away the life of guilt and find in Christ we are…




I hope today you receive this message as a love letter from Christ. His messages are rich, full and fulfilling. I pray we each make the decision to throw away the world’s rotten, conflicting messages of comparison and guilt & choose to be filled with the Word of life.

Guilt-Free in 2018.

Grace to you,




The Source of More

This season, there’s a stirring in my heart about that word–More. The world says, “You need to be better. You need to do more.” But what does God say? Where does God’s “More” come from? If you are feeling pushed around by a fast-paced life or believing the lie of the enemy, please take time to read this message. I am so blessed to share this beautiful post from my dear friend and pastor’s wife, Angela Grider. I pray it blesses your heart and gives you encouragement today to let Jesus fill up your well.


I want to love more,do more and give more;

I want to love more, do more and give more, but eventually I run dry.

In today’s key verse (John 7:38), Jesus says, “The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.”

When I read this, I sometimes wonder if I’m missing something. I believe in Jesus, but my life sure doesn’t seem to yield these streams of living water all the time.
Could this really be a statement of fact? Surely these streams of living water that flow from deep within are reserved for only a few people. People in a much slower season of life.

But that’s not what Jesus says. He says the only prerequisite to streams of living water flowing deep from within is to believe in Him. If we believe in Jesus, yet still feel like a cup tipped over, maybe we just need to unclog our stream.

As the holiday season knocks on the door, to-do lists grow and threaten to tip the cup of our souls on its side. To keep our souls from running dry, we have to frequent the Source of our streams regularly.

In the hustle and bustle it can be hard to find these soul stops, so I want to share three things I’ve found that help keep my soul steady.

Look for short stops.

One way I keep my focus on God and His plans even on the busiest days is to set aside 3-5 minutes throughout the day to literally drop to my knees and talk to God. It redirects my worry and keeps my thoughts on Him — even in the midst of chaos.

Pay attention.

As you set your soul on the mission to fill up and stay filled, ask God to get your attention. Look for Him at work in the simplest ways — a text from a friend at just the right time, a song in your heart, or a giggle with a young child that refreshes your spirit.

Set limits.

Pick a time your distractions begin, and tell them when they end. During those hours, do the phone thing and computer thing and every other thing that you pour your soul into, but when those hours tick to an end, shut it down. Determine to save time at the end of your day or beginning of your day (or better yet, both!) for nothing other than soul-filling time with your Savior.

Our souls rely on one Source: fellowship with God through His Son, Jesus. Any substitute may take us a few miles further on our journey, but it will not last and could even cause damage.

Dear Jesus, I believe Your words, and I want desperately for these streams of living water to flow from deep within me into the world around me. Give me a soul that thirsts for You. And as I fill up with Your living water, let me be a source of refreshment for others who need it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Psalm 42:1, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” 
John 4:14, “But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”


Things I’m Loving this Week

I’ve always been a reader, and with half the world obsessed with reality tv or ugly politics, for me that translates to blog reading. There are about a handful of blogs I read regularly. Why? I always want to hear from these people because they’re so real, and Crystal Paine’s weekend post is one of those I look forward to in my inbox. I thrive on “off topic” randomness, and the weekend posts are just about as random as you can get, so in honor of this I want to jot a few random offerings of my own.

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  1. Hello September!

If you didn’t know, this month begins the season I love most. Bring on the #PSL’s– although where I live, I prefer the amazing local version which combines pumpkin spice with toasted marshmallow. It just makes me happy. At this moment, there’s a wicker basket set under my living room chair, just ready for when the hats and mittens come out. Fall means delicious breezes, a last hurrah for the roses surrounding my porch, and gorgeous colors on the trees. Our extended family spends extra time together, because birthdays! Also, there are always great events, so I’m already planning date nights for me and hubby. 🙂

What do you love about fall?

  1. Hoopla– digital streaming

I have recently discovered this tiny goldmine, brought to us by our local libraries, and I love it! It’s free, you can get the app, and you have 10 titles per month. With. Rollover. I am currently hoarding my last five titles from August until they expire, and I will carefully choose my books for September one at a time. Until the end of the month, when I’ll snag like a crazy person.  Right now, I’m finishing up Lisa-Jo Baker’s book, followed by Breaking Busy from Alli Worthington on audio. I also have three ebooks in fiction from Melissa Tagg, Colleen Coble and Denise Hunter.

I don’t have a ton of time to read, as I’m sure you don’t either. When I do, I like something good on my shelf. I love a new Bible study book or Christian fiction new release, and last season’s featured books from Lifeway are mostly on the shelves of Hoopla. You can find your favorite 2017 releases pretty quick–even for you music and video lovers–and it costs nothing. Definitely worth a shot.

What are you reading in September?

  1. Lisa Jo Baker’s Never Unfriended wrecked me in the worst possible way. The truth is, the only people I have ever unfriended are people I loved most, because of life choices and healthy boundaries–all the things that would sound responsible in a TEDTalk and feel like garbage in real life.  That being said, I never intended to read this book. I probably wouldn’t have, except for Kristy Cambron’s book club featuring…you guessed it. Never Unfriended and Lizzy & Jane. I decided to check out the audio version and let it roll while I drove to all the mom things, then folded laundry.

The thing I loved about this book is the way Lisa cuts through social pretense with a reality knife, takes the cracked sheet cake and layers it with fruit and whipped cream before she serves it up on a plate. Belle melange never tasted so good–maybe because the women who read this book  aren’t eating alone. A favorite quote refers to, “Velveteen Friendship.”

“Love is born when we misunderstand one another and make it right…when we cry in the kitchen, when we show up unannounced with magazines and granola bars in an effort to say, ‘I love you.’” –Lisa Jo Baker

I hope your weekend finds a way to tell the people in your life how much you love them.

**Bonus: I’m looking forward to this Scripture writing plan on serving. Hop on over and join me!

Grace to you,