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    Facing Disappointment With Facts and Faith

    Life is hard. Disease destroys precious loved ones. Injustice extinguishes innocent life. Dreams are crushed and die. Prayers remain unanswered. How do I accept the reality of pain and disappointment without losing hope? How do I trust that God might never answer prayer the way I want and still keep asking for a miracle? I’ve told myself all the usual answers: God is good and he loves me. He is sympathetic to my cry. He knows what he’s doing. Sometimes he answers, “wait.” Working behind the scenes, he will redeem the pain. I still believe these truths, but I need something more. Do I give up hope of ever seeing what I wish…

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    Robbed of My Right of Passage

    In this Covid-19 time, there’s a group of celebrants who feels the loss of their special day more than others: Graduates. With no stage, no diploma in hand, and no procession, it’s hard to feel the same sense of accomplishment and closure.

  • Release your expectations of acceptable outcomes

    Release Your Expectations of Acceptable Outcomes

    The headline I recently read was this, “Sinkholes leave Florida neighborhood looking like cratered wasteland.” People of a Central Florida neighborhood are stuck in a nightmare after a dozen sinkholes opened, forcing the evacuation of a bunch of homes. Residents said the holes burst open as water started exploding into what looked like a geyser shooting out of a now-empty pond. Central Florida is sinkhole alley with porous limestone resembling Swiss cheese close to the surface. The holes in the limestone existed long before the neighborhood was built. Apparently, no one called in geologists to extensively examine the underlying soil and rock before all those houses were constructed. What strikes me is…

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    Honoring Spiritual Mothers

    You did it. You survived another Mother’s Day. You’re licking your wounds, but you made it through the day. You plastered a smile on your face and gave a polite nod and shrug of the shoulders in response to the all too familiar question, “When are you going to have a baby?” You, and the other non-moms, successfully pushed back tears and sat staring at the bulletin while a church leader asked all of the mothers in the congregation to stand for applause and recognition.

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    Dealing with Disappointment

    There seemed to be a gigantic collective gasp at the 2016 Rio Olympics when American gymnast Simone Biles bobbled on the balance beam and had to steady herself with her hands. Instantly, the girl expected to win five gold medals lost the gold, even before finishing her otherwise excellent routine. She still won a bronze, but Simone (and the entire media machine) knew she was capable of a gold. How disappointing!  Simone handled her letdown with grace and realism, limiting her disappointment to the one missed skill rather than globalizing—as we so often do—by saying things like, “I am such an idiot! I can’t believe I did that!” Then, quickly…

  • Heartprints

    GOOD GRIEF: Seven Steps to Embracing Emotions- #1 Be Honest!

    Grieving the big losses in life: death of loved ones, loss of health, homes destroyed by catastrophes, marriages ending in divorce, jobs ending, and other great losses can be devastating. Our feelings are better managed at such times if we have learned to trust God in everyday losses beginning at a very early age. What you teach your child as they let go of bottles, pacifiers, and security blankets, or how to accept the loss of broken toys and moving friends will make a difference in how your child faces the bigger losses that come through death, tragedy, and disappointments. Too many times as parents and teachers we miss the incredible opportunities…

  • Heartprints

    Grieving- Throwing a Life Line in the Sea of Emotions

    When Your Heart Feels Like Winter & Your Tears are Frozen Grief is unpleasant. It is a process of emotions that we each must pass through in order for our hearts to heal from a loss we’ve experienced. As an adult I have had to deal with grief in all shapes and sizes. My first big conflict with grief, though, came at the age of eleven. My mother died.  Perhaps my words below will help you understand what I felt when I lost her. “It feels like the worst of winter has settled in your heart.  It is not just the worst of any winter. It is like the worst winter…

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    Life is Like a Box of Chocolates…

    “…you never know what you’re gonna get.”  Christians expect mistreatment at the hands of unbelievers. But when disappointed by those professing faith and maturity in Christ? When the expectation remains unmet, invitation unaccepted, and longing unfulfilled? When he lashes out—again. When siblings persist in their distractedness rather than seeming to care. When parents criticize and small group members scrutinize. When the heart breaks, along with confidence in the relationship. What then? Often we withdraw, tunneling inward for self-preservation. Peter offers some counsel, nestled like Jordan Almonds amid the rows of crème and crepe-paper of First Peter: “Above all keep your love for one another fervent, because love covers a multitude…

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    Broken Christmas

    What are your expectations at Christmas? Too often its overshadowed by disappointment, but my friend Elisa Morgan has just written a book to transform your Christmas. Read her blog below–better yet, read her book The Beauty of Broken for a truly Merry Christmas. Most of us don’t want to talk about the not-so-pretty stuff of life. We’d rather focus on loveliness. Hued sunsets. Tinted leaves. Indigo skies. Golden grass. Christmas. Christmas is supposed to be one of those lovely seasons – right? Except when it’s not. Except when it’s broken. A cancer diagnosis. A child who’s far away from home. A runaway spouse. Unemployment. Loneliness. Ugh…broken Christmas. It’s time to…

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    Stuck in the Wilderness

    Do you find yourself in a tough place right now? Perhaps you are dealing with loss, transition, disappointment, uncertainty, or any number of challenges. I relate, being stuck in such a wilderness for some time now. The wilderness journey of Israel wasn’t a season of spiritual dryness, as some of us might expect of the wilderness. Instead, it was a period of hardship and challenge arising from their circumstances. Israel was literally in a tough place, but God was near. What incredible blessings they experienced because of the difficulties! Think about them with me. God himself led them in a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day.…