• Heartprints

    Will God Give Me the Desires of My Heart?

      WE ALL ACHE WITH DESIRES WE HOPE GOD FULFILLS. For years I desired to be married and God seemed silent. Then I longed for a place to call home—and my husband and I continued to move from city to city. What are your desires? What comes to your mind when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep? Psalm 37:4 offers hope for our longings, but sometimes it seems like just a sweet saying painted on a coffee mug. Especially for my friends who wait for a positive pregnancy test, a job, healing. If we delight in God, will He really give us the desires of…

  • Heartprints

    How Curtains are a Powerful Symbol of the Gospel: Lent Reflection from Matthew 27

    This Lent season, I am pondering curtains—my grey ones from a big box store—and the ones that divided the Israelites from the presence of God. God used curtains to hide his glory like I use mine to hide the sunlight. HOW ARE CURTAINS A SYMBOL OF THE GOSPEL? Photo taken from Unsplash THE ANCIENT CURTAIN Once a year the high priest would slide through the curtain that separated the rest of the tabernacle. He would bring smoking incense and prepared blood from the atonement sacrifice and sprinkle the blood before the Lord to atone (cover, forgive) the priest’s sins and the sins of the people. Once a year, one man…

  • Heartprints

    Sometimes Obeying God is Hard: Life Lesson from 1 Samuel 15

    I softly closed the door to my baby boy’s room after laying him down for a nap and walked into the silence of my house. Alone. Just months before, I coordinated a global ministry at a megachurch and traveled often—now I coordinate a naptime schedule and jet from sudsy dish water to poop-filled diapers. I read blogs about the joy of motherhood and the importance of Christian parenting.  But I felt the complete opposite. I love my son. I wanted to be with him. So why did motherhood feel so empty? Now What? I talked with my husband and decided to go back to work part-time from home. Maybe that…

  • Heartprints

    Jacob Teaches Us 3 Ways to Embrace Our Season of Life from Genesis 33

    A winter storm whirled through our neighborhood toward the beginning of Fall. Ice hardened leaves into bowls, and snow filled them. Fresh powder blanketed our lawn. I pushed back my living room curtains for a wider view and heard a loud cracking sound. Then a thud.  The early arrival of snow placed too much weight on branches full of leaves, causing them to fall—some on power lines. So, we lived by the heat of our fireplace for a day while work crews fixed the connections. Our power outage taught me that the flow of a season is important. Every season has a purpose and prepares creation for the pressures of…

  • Heartprints

    How to Make New Year’s Resolutions

    I sat on the corner chair in my bedroom with my journal open, feet tucked up on the seat, ready to reflect on the year and write the list for 2019 “New Year’s Resolutions.” But something felt unsettling, even anxious. Do you ever feel stressed when thinking about making plans for the future? Then this post will help. WHY DO WE MAKE RESOLUTIONS? Do we make resolutions for the new year because “me and only me” are responsible for who I become like the best-selling author, Rachel Hollis says? No. We make plans because it helps us move forward in following Jesus and making a difference in the world—whether that…

  • Heartprints

    How to Celebrate Holidays While Struggling with Sadness

    The pies are baking. Presents are tied with bows. It’s holiday season! Which brings so much joy and fun in our home as I plan gingerbread-making and Christmas tree decorating—but it also makes me sad. I miss deceased loved ones and my childhood home we sold last year. I have friends going through divorce, grieving the loss of children, or persevering through medical challenges. WHEN THE HOLIDAYS ARE MIXED WITH SADNESS, HOW CAN WE CELEBRATE? Here are a few things I’m doing this year. REMEMBER. We need to stuff turkeys, not feelings. It is unhealthy for us to pretend nothing is wrong when we genuinely feel sad. But instead of sitting…

  • Heartprints

    1 Way Parenthood Is Like Noah’s Life of Faith

    Judah, my middle child, is a rocks, sticks, leaves, tree-climbing kind of boy. On one of our Fall walks a couple years ago, He picked up an acorn and with an excited smile, said, “Look!” As he handed them to me for safe keeping. What I thought were simple, brown acorns, the kind with tops that look like hats, he thought were beautiful seeds of possibility. A Simple Seed I began to think about how I felt like that acorn. Tossed. Un-noticed. Set-aside from the hustle of busy, important people, going to busy, important places, doing busy, important things. Did my holding a fist full of acorns matter? But then,…

  • Kids Follow Jesus
    Heartprints

    Will My Kids Follow Jesus or Walk Away?

    A simple Google search for raising godly children brings up a myriad of ideas and a substantial amount of resources. I lose my parental confidence in the plethora of choices. Which kid Bible is best? Discipline strategy? Verses to memorize? Family devotional? The questions—and options—never end. Do you wonder if you are doing enough to raise Christians of the future? If so, here are 3 pieces of wisdom gifted to me by others that may serve as gauges for spiritual parenting.   Raise them in Christ, not just in the church. Kyle Idleman, teaching pastor at Southeast Christian in Kentucky, shares about a father who told him that his adult…

  • Heartprints

    3 Reasons I Still Trust God in This Crazy World

    I laid on the post-op bed after an emergency c-section. A guy in a doctor's gown stood at the end of my bed and told me something about my baby struggling to breathe and needing to transfer him to another hospital. They’d let me know more when they could. I laid there unable to move from anesthesia, powerless, with a barren womb and empty arms. God? Why? I trusted You. My son lived and is now eight, but these past years since his birth, God’s taught me the difference between belief and trust by enduring some difficult seasons and tragedies. I believe Him, but I haven’t always trusted Him—at least…

  • Heartprints

    3 Ways to Seek Peace When You’re Anxious

    This blog post comes from the frontline of anxiety. I stopped today numerous times to focus on breathing because of a tight chest of emotions.  Letting the peace of God rule in our hearts sometimes takes more work than reciting a verse we memorized. Do you ever feel so anxious you want to scream or hide? Here are 3 ways to seek peace when you are anxious: 1. Name. Put a name to your anxiety. Anxiety is a red flag that something needs changed or taken care of. What is it? We can’t change or take care of a feeling. 2. Pray. After you pray, pray some more. When anxiety clenches…