What Are You Chasing? …And Why?

When I was growing up, the biggest pursuit for me boiled down to love and acceptance wherever I could find it. Friends and boys were the top priority in my quest for acceptance.

Instead of realizing and being satisfied that I already had my family’s love and better yet, God’s love, I believed Satan’s lie that this wasn’t enough. “Your family and God are required to love you. Your real value must come from others.”


But I believed it. My actions proved that I did.

I am convinced that many women (young and old) are still trapped by similar lies today.

You are not enough. You need to be more. Do more. You are not desirable. You are not valuable.

Why do I think this? Because I’m a woman! I can still struggle with believing these lies. If I examine my motives, they sometimes reveal that I am trying to obtain my approval from people. Essentially I am living from the lie that says, “What I already have in Christ is not enough.”

When does this happen? It happens when my eyes are off of Jesus Christ and His glory. It happens when I compare. It happens when I stop pursuing God and chase after the meaningless things of this world.

Be honest – what or who do you pursue? And why?

We pursue what we believe we need.

When we don’t throw out these demonic, worldly, filthy lies from our thinking and living, they begin to CHOKE the Truth (the Word of God) that needs to grow big and strong in our hearts.

This is what happens to me, to us, to our families, and to the Church! Everything God wants to teach and reveal to us falls on deaf ears and dim eyes. These lies CHOKE OUT the germinating seeds of Truth. Fruitlessness is the result.

When we chase after people’s approval we have a LOVE DISABILITY. We don’t truly see the LOVE we HAVE in Christ.

Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us in this state of bondage! Our loving Father draws us in, convicts our hearts and opens our eyes to His Truth.

His Truth says, “My love is far beyond anything you could ever imagine. It is real, pure, limitless, unchanging, deeply and fully cup-runneth-over satisfying to your longing soul.”


NO MORE believing the lies. NO MORE counterfeit, worldly, self-driven living that only leads to barrenness.

Prayer: Forgive us, wonderful Father! We throw all these lies in the TRASH and pursue you with ALL our hearts. Overwhelm us with Your indescribable love. You alone fully and forever satisfy our being!



Mommy Lesson #3


Yelling does not improve your child’s learning or character development.

This is obvious, right? But many a mom will test her vocal chord’s volume levels in order to try and get her point across.

Mom screaming at kids using megaphone

Have you ever blown a fuse over a child’s incessant, unruly behavior only to find that you were more at fault than your child for not immediately dealing with the problem?

I’ve done this. It’s totally foolish. This tactic only makes matters worse. Plus, it’s disrespectful. We are to treat our children with respect – even when we correct them.

My temperament lies on the calmer, more laid-back side of the personality spectrum but that doesn’t mean that I never get worked up into a frenzy of intense emotions. In fact, I have had overcome a fair bit of anger issues (Only by the process of continually submitting myself to the powerful work of the Holy Spirit!). I’m a strong “feeler” which means that I tend to process situations through an emotional filter before my logic filter kicks in. This is a formula for disaster without God’s help!

I used to think that my long-winded lectures were necessary. This is just a parent’s duty, right? NO. I was wrong.

Proverbs 10:19 gives it to us straight, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”

Hold my tongue? Oh, okay…

And then I start to say things like,

You are not listening to me! You sit down and pay attention to what I have to say! Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…

Think about Jesus. He had strong emotions but He was concise with correction and rebukes. He said what needed to be said and that was that.

Briefly and respectfully say what you need to say and then give your child some time to reflect.

Let them (respectfully) share their point of view. And when they do, be sure to really lean in to listen. Validate their feelings by saying something like, “I see that this is upsetting to you.” Or “I know you don’t like what is happening.”

And let’s remember the wisdom from James 1:19,20, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

The bottom line is this: Yelling doesn’t work.

Planning my reaction works much better.

So I made a plan… And it works!

I wrote down my kids’ common offenses and added a specific disciplinary consequence to each one. This was powerful. It takes all negative emotion out of the moment of crisis and empowers me to logically, lovingly, and prayerfully provide correction.

I don’t want to intimidate my children into obedience; I want to patiently teach and train them in the way they should go.

I want to humbly lead them to the goodness and grace of our Savior, Jesus Christ.



Mommy Lessons #2

Mom, do you ever feel like you are in a parenting rut?

I sure can find myself here too often!

This mommy-rut can nag at your soul. It can keep you awake at night… because you know change is needed. Something is not working. Maybe it’s the eternally messy house, fighting siblings, disobedience, or the couch-potato-itis that has yet to be conquered. I believe that the nagging in our souls comes from our realities not lining up with our value systems. Values like obedience, respect, love, and diligence are foundational virtues we all long to instill in our kids.

So, like me, you’ve likely tried a multitude of parenting tactics to bring success in certain trouble areas. Maybe you’re in a season where any hope of change seems, well, unlikely.

I want to encourage you. Don’t throw in the towel. Don’t be an all-or-nothing parent. Don’t give up. Positive change is very possible!

Mommy Lesson #2


I’ve learned that tweaking my parenting methods is vital! Although I’ll never “arrive” as the perfect parent or with a perfect child, I strive for gradual improvements. I call them “tweaks.” These adjustments may be needed daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually – you get the idea.

For me, tweaking begins by asking the Holy Spirit for guidance and then quizzing myself with constructive questions.

Questions to periodically ask yourself:

  • Am I about my Heavenly Father’s family business or my own?
  • How can I better connect with my child?
  • What can I change to better align with our values or goals?
  • What about our routine is not working well?
  • Do I need to learn more and be stretched as a mom? If so, what will be the source for this growth?

Let me just pause here for a little rabbit chase. Why is it that we rarely partake in training for parenting beyond the infant or early childhood years of a child? We will read all we can about pregnancy and baby’s first year, but as they grow older the studying often comes to a stop.

I urge you, mom, keep learning and growing! Get your PHD (figuratively speaking) in family matters, because family matters!

My recent tweaking just started last week after meeting with my mentor over lunch and discussing the prominent issue of entitlement.

After processing our discussion, I decided that my kids were not doing enough work around the house. They needed more chores. So I assigned new jobs with the days and times for them to be completed. Besides a little initial whining, this was an easy fix.

I also saw that they needed additional boundaries with their electronic devices. They now have set times of the day to place all devices into a basket that will be in their dad and mom’s possession. Can you believe we would actually remove these beloved items from their precious hands?! (Insert eye-roll here). No, this is not abuse. This is a healthy boundary for them in hopes that they will value people over “Apps.”

Now, honestly, if I don’t consistently hold them to the new standards there will come a day when these “tweaks” break down. Now is when you don’t want to give up. Give yourself grace! Shake it off! This is the beauty of tweaking. If you mess it up on your end, own it, tweak it, and start again! 

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28

Happy Tweaking!

To be continued: Mommy Lesson #3: Yelling Doesn’t Help

Mommy Lessons

What I Have Been Learning Along The Way…

NOT TO JUDGE OTHER MOMS’ METHODS (If I don’t like it, I just won’t adopt it. 🙂 ) 

If you’re like me, you’ve taken your role as a mother pretty seriously and have strived to choose the very best methods in all things maternal. I want my kids to have the most enriching environments possible. So I’ve sought the Holy Spirit’s guidance and done the best I can to provide this.

Now, I know you would never look around and compare like I have, but I have noticed that some moms seem to have kids that are better behaved than mine. Some of their four-year olds seem smarter than me. Some seem to be always well groomed with a matching outfit. While my goal is to make sure all my kids have shoes on when they jump in the car.

And then there’s those moms who can make me feel quite superior. “I would never feed my child such a meal.” “I would never allow my child to watch that show.” “I would never allow my child to behave in such a way.”

Oh… my, my, my. Do you see the problem?

First of all, it’s important to understand the difference between a principle and a method. A principle is a moral or fundamental standard. Methods are our systems or practices.

Proper nurturing, nutrition, education, and discipline are vital principles. Please do not neglect your child’s basic needs of love, food, clothing, shelter, correction, training, and teaching. And it’s great to search for the best methods to assist your child’s various needs. However, moms must beware of thinking of her methods as superior, more spiritual, or inferior than that of another mom. This only leads to self-righteousness, envy, strife and the like.

Stop comparing and just do your thing, mom! But watch yourself carefully. Don’t become overly zealous for your particular method(s) so that you offend or discourage your friend. Allow the love and grace of Jesus Christ to mature you as you avoid such foolishness.

Remain humble and unified with your sisters’ in Christ regarding your differing methods of parenting.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

To be continued… Next post: “Make Improvements by Tweaks”



Do you have a deep, confident expectation about your tomorrows? You should. God wants us to!

I want us to examine our hope in the midst of trials and suffering.

God’s Word tells us to “Rejoice in our sufferings” and “Consider it pure joy” when in the middle of various trials. Does this sound a little crazy to you? It sure does to me! It is unusual, but it is God’s prescribed way for spiritual maturity. Notice I said maturity and not easy answers and specific outcomes.

I would not be the Christ-follower I am today if it were not for my painful trials. Every battle with my sin, fear, sickness, rejection, loss, and daily frustration has allowed me to become more like Christ Jesus.

When our faith is in the fire of life’s trials and we press on, placing our trust in God, it purifies us, making us more like Him. Trials can cause our hope to soar because we see the truth of His faithfulness at work in and around us.

Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Are you facing your struggles with patience, joy and prayer? You can. You can confidently expect God to work out good in all things for you, His beloved child (Romans 8:28).

If you are not walking in peace and joy right now, you need to reset your thinking. You need to renew your attitude with the truth of who God is!

I remember a time a few years back when I was terribly disappointed. No. I was fed-up. Done. I’d had enough. I had been waiting for God to answer my prayer to heal my reoccurring bladder infections. When I say “waiting,” I mean I have been waiting for the past 11 years. Well, one particular day there was no “rejoicing in all circumstances” going on in my heart. I wanted an end to my problem right then!

I had done everything the Bible said to receive healing, as well as prayerfully gone to doctors, taken their meds, used heaps of natural remedies, listened to and applied helpful advice, all to no avail. Ugh… sigh… whine… boo-hoo-hoo…

But God! He is so patient and generous with me. And today I am giddy with renewed hope! Why? Did I receive my healing? Maybe? I don’t know. I’m not sure about my tomorrows. But I know that God will be with me in them. My healing may come right now. If so, praise God! If not now, I expect all things are working out for my good and for His glory. His grace has always been sufficient for me.

My joy left that day because I became impatient and ungrateful. Not any more. I am waiting full of expectation. My God is everything I need!

Wait loved one. Wait patiently on Him. Choose to walk in His goodness and strength. You can live full of joy because you know, depend and place all hope in your faithful God.

For Futher Study:

Read James 1:2-5, Romans 5:1-11, and 1 Peter 1:3-7 and complete the statement, “I can rejoice because I have…”

Make out a list of what you’ve been given in Christ.



SO, I’m beginning a new semester of teaching the SOAR Bible curriculum to a group of teen girls at my church (I can’t wait!), and I thought my blog readers ought to have bits of its encouragement as well. The following is week one, day one’s lesson in the SOAR study, Abide in the Spirit. …And, of course, if you’re looking to start a Bible study, these are all free downloadable resources at www.soarwithgod.com or can be purchased in book format through Amazon. 🙂



 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Romans 6:6-7

Are you living more out of your old nature or the new nature? Have you drifted from your first-love, Jesus, and now you’re the one calling the shots?

Jesus clearly explains in Luke 9:23-24 how a wholly surrendered follower of Christ should live.

He declares,

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”

 We are called to die to our old nature daily! Daily. Actually moment-by-moment would be even more accurate. This can only be done by fully relying on Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit in us. The cross we are to carry, I believe, is the cross of dying to ourselves.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t follow anyone very well unless I have given over all self-reliance.

Remember, we are not created new in Christ to be independent and self-sufficient. God wants us dependent on Him. We are called to be slaves to God and His righteousness. Apart from Him, you and I are incapable of anything life-giving.

Have you traded a close, vibrant relationship for your own imitation of following Him?

Living from His strength is true freedom! Regardless of your circumstances, He is sufficient to supply your every need.

Respond to God now in prayer.


Take out a notebook and title the page with the two headings, “Old Nature” and “New Nature.”

Read Romans 6 and jot down all you learn about a believer before Christ and in Christ.

Here’s an example of what I learned from verses 1 and 2:

Old Nature                 New Nature

Sin dominated             I died to sin

Now it’s your turn to dig into the chapter and gain insight about the old-you verses the new-you in Christ.

Oh Lord, It’s Hard to be Humble

“Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way. I can’t wait to look in the mirror, ‘cuz I get better lookin’ each day. To know me is to love me…” These are the outrageous lyrics from a 1970s Davis Mac song. As laughable as they may seem, it might not be too difficult for you to think of someone who could write similar lines!

Narcissism – extreme self-love and selfishness – seems to have risen to epidemic proportions. Sure. It’s nothing new. Rather, it’s the oldest sin in the book. Undoubtedly, the first sin of Lucifer was laden with narcissistic pride.

A sign of the times? Probably. 2 Timothy 3:1,2 declares, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud…”

But is the issue of narcissism only a potential vice for the unbeliever? Is it possible for this ultra-vanity to infiltrate the Christian heart?

I’m convinced that anyone can fall prey to the trap of excessive self-love.

It seems like now more than ever it’s socially acceptable to be self-glorifying. “Hey guys, look at me! Look what I did. Look what I wear. Look where I go and who I know.” Hey, don’t get me wrong. I do this too!

And of course, this is a heart issue. The trouble is I’m tempted to look around and mentally point my finger at those who appear narcissistic while neglecting to examine and deal with me! Ugh! This plank in my eye is difficult to remove! But if I humble myself before God and confess my sin, He is faithful to gently remove and wash away this impurity.

As Christ-followers, we know that we are called to be humble, to be set-apart (holy), and not conform to the world’s ideals. Our Christian example matters greatly as we are God’s ambassadors shining His love and truth into the darkness.

But it can be very challenging to live this out WHEN…

We focus on ourselves.

Galatians 6:3: If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

We stop serving others.

Philippians 2:3: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

We take our focus off of glorifying Christ.

Colossians 3:3-4: For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

2 Corinthians 5:15: And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

The HUMBLING truth is… GOD WILDLY LOVES YOU and ME… SELAH (think about it). Our God alone is WORTHY of ALL true glory, honor and praise!

Pray this prayer with me: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23,24

Developing the Habit of Patience

Patience isn’t something that comes naturally for me, especially as a mother. I expect prompt attention when I’ve clearly communicated (which is always 🙂 ) and complete follow-through with my directives. NO arguing, ignoring, or disobedience, please! My patience wanes when my children make the same poor choices again and again… and again.

Patience is not needed when everything and everyone is peachy. No. It is when we’re challenged with the unruly, the interruption, the weariness from a relentless daily grind, or a constant drip of tension in the soul that patience becomes a desired and much needed virtue.

So, what’s a momma to do?!

Practice a New Habit

1 Timothy 4:7b exhorts us, “train yourself to be godly.”

It’s time to train ourselves in the righteous act of patience! I believe that it’s our poor habits that hold back our growth.

Beth Moore teaches that biblical patience is acquired from our delaying judgment. I really like this. Think about it. We can gain ground in patience when we are slow to judge – when we take a moment to seek God’s wisdom, to listen closely, and stop allowing our feelings and preferences to rule us!

This makes me think of James 1:19.
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

Again, it’s not easy or natural for me to walk in this! I’ve got two ears and one mouth like most people, but my mouth typically gets much more use!

With God’s strength, I’ve decided to do the hard work of replacing my quick-to-judge responses with God’s best: a habit of patience. Will you join me? 

 Let’s look at some amazing scriptures on patience to motivate us.


Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone. Proverbs 25:15


The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8


Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12


…be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2


Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? Romans 2:4








Are You Encouraging Yourself in the Lord?

 One time on a Colorado family vacation, Craig and I decided that we should take the kids on a hike up a new mountain trail. The narrow, steep ascent was going fairly well until we heard a loud roar of thunder and saw dark rain clouds blowing in. We were already halfway up the mountain. Yikes! What to do?! Hunt for a nearby refuge or get back down to the car? We chose the car. How we made it back down in “lightning” speed without any tumbles off the mountain was nothing but God’s divine protection!

 A big storm can be very frightening. Especially when you’re right out in the middle of it!

Is your heart deeply troubled by a storm right now and you are trying to run for cover? Or maybe your storm has been lingering for a long season and has placed you in “survival mode” or maybe even left you feeling hopeless, anxious, and beyond weary.

If so, what steps have you taken towards God’s peace and encouragement?

There are 3 vital questions I’d like for you to answer regarding encouragement:

  • Have you taken time to receive encouragement from God’s Word and in prayer?
  • Do you have someone who can listen and encourage and strengthen your faith?
  • Are you encouraging and building yourself up in the Lord?

If you are a mature believer, my guess is that you might have answered, “Yes.” to the first question and possibly the second one, too.

Having your heart strengthened directly by God and through His people is an absolutely necessity to stay strong and fight the good fight of faith!

Sadly, when I’ve directly asked struggling Christian friends, family members, or church members, the answer has (so far) always been the same on the 3rd question: “No, I’m not.”

I’ve been on both sides of the answer to this question.  Lately my passion has been growing to make a life-style out of building myself up in my most holy faith (Jude 1:20).

I’ve found that when I “preach to myself” words from God’s Truth, I forget about my feelings of despair, anxiety, and fear. Then I’m able to persevere through my trial with supernatural peace, joy, and hope. Even more, our God, the Consuming Fire, takes this faith and fans the flame in my heart for Him!

Encouraging myself is actually reinforcing all of the Truth that I’ve stored up from God and His people. It truly seems like my faith comes to life in ways that would have been dormant if I hadn’t received it in this personal way.

This is especially true in life’s darkest moments when the rubber meets the road.

Christ-followers, we must learn to fight and persevere in our battles standing firm in Christ’s power, not wallowing in self-pity and hopelessness! No! Don’t give up! No matter the circumstances, your mind, will, and emotions need to yield to God’s Truth.

Encourage yourself in the Lord!

God, you are with me! I am not alone. You are for me. You are my Strength. You are my Helper, my Refuge, my Wisdom, my All in All. You are worthy! Father, you are my Peace. You love me with an unending love. I know You will provide all my needs. You don’t waste anything in my life. You hem me in before and behind. You hear me. My hope is in You. My life in hidden in You. I submit myself to You. I resist the devil. I cling to Your promises. You are my Life. I hunger and thirst for You. Take my fear and perfect me in Your abundant love. I am Yours and You are mine. I lift up a sacrifice of praise to You.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 is one of my favorite (out of many) self-encouragement examples in the Bible. He prays,

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”

Press on and go onto the heights with our Father, dear believer! Worship Him in your storms! Through Christ we are OVERCOMERS!

Additional Scriptures:

…everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13

Kingdom Innovation

Well I may be biased, but my sweet husband’s second message at the 2013 Hillsong Conference last month was one that I’ll never forget. His teaching moved me deeply and I’d love to share it with you.

I pray that God’s mighty Spirit will in turn stir you as you read my meager notes from this powerful message. 



By Craig Groeschel 

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them.

Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:1-5   

Common Ingredients with Innovation

Limited Resources + A Willingness to Fail (Faith) + Increasing Passion = Exponential Innovation

Limited Resources – “We can’t because we don’t…”

No more excuses! We need to understand that God often guides by what he WITHHOLDS. God has given us everything we need. He’ll show us a new way – His ingenious and perfect way through our limitations.

Embrace your limitations. God’s power is made perfect in our weaknesses.

Willingness to Fail – Following God always requires FAITH.

Be willing to step out and try! Sure, it’s scary to take a risk, but failure can often be the first step to success. Failure is not only an option, but sometimes it’s a necessity for fruitful growth. Sometimes we’ve got to be willing to take a faith-risk and “dig a hole.”

Increasing Passion – “I HAVE TO!”

The men carrying the paralytic had the right amount of passion to say, “We can’t get in through the door because of the crowd (limited resources). We may fail by trying another way… BUT… WE HAVE TO TRY!”

In reaching this world we MUST adopt this same do-whatever-it-takes attitude! We’ll do anything short of sin to reach out to the LOST and hurting!

What is your “I have to…” PASSION statement 

Exponential Innovation! – The men went through a ROOF!

Resistance Warning: When you dig through someone’s ceiling, people will get offended.

We need to be willing to break some manmade rules/boundaries!

Sometimes, to reach no one else is reaching, you’ll need to do what no one else is doing.

John the Baptist did. Jesus did! The Apostles did. Martin Luther did. John Wesley did. The list could go on and on. Should God lead, will you?

My Thoughts

I was stirred with crazy passion for the lost and broken during Craig’s message. It was such a clarion call to the capital “C” church to do whatever it takes to win the lost! No more excuses and playing it safe when eternity is at stake! Let’s seek God for bold new ways to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ into all the world.

I’m soon starting up a neighborhood ministry for women who are seeking or new on their Christian journeys. I truly needed this faith-stirring, passion-building message to prepare my heart and mind for action. I’m ready to break through some roofs!

How about you? What roof do you need to break through with passionate faith? Take some time in prayer about this. God may reveal something right away. But if not, that usually means wait for it. His timing is perfect. Just stay alert, available, and full of His passion.

Thank you, JESUS, that in Your awesome love You don’t leave us where we are! You faithfully guide us in new ways as we depend on you.