When Your Vows Extend Beyond You

When we realized we’d likely be spending our anniversary in the hospital, Joseph grabbed the only thing within reach… a notepad the nurses had given us. We’d been using it to jot down questions for the doctors and any notes we wanted to remember from morning rounds. It certainly wasn’t a fancy, embellished Hallmark card, but it might be my favorite anniversary letter to date. Because it was real, raw, scribbled with the pressure of a ballpoint pen and the weight of the moment.

Living on a Prayer – A Letter to My Daughter

Your dad and I had had barely left the hospital with you In tow before rushing back to the emergency room. There wasn’t time to meet your extended family or settle into your daily routine. There was no time to heal at home or acclimate to our new life as a family of four. Our days would soon be colored with the neon glow of beeping monitors and the fluorescent lights of the Pediatric ICU. Simply put, it was not the maternity leave I had hoped for or imagined I'd be spending with you...

Delighting in His Presence

Last spring I took a spiritual formation class during my last semester of undergrad. Honestly, I expected it to be a breeze. I was used to academics. I knew how to study well, maximize my time, and give professors what they wanted. When I saw that we were assigned a different spiritual discipline to practice and journal about every week, I was prepared to go through the motions and check off any box necessary for me to succeed (I had severe senioritis!) But what I didn’t expect was a loving but convicting lesson from the Spirit about my tendency to do all the things (prayer, worship, Bible reading) to feel as though I was succeeding in my relationship with God rather than to simply bask in his presence.

When We Don’t Have the Words

If I am completely honest, prayer is something that has felt daunting to me. I have often become discouraged because my prayer life is not what I want it to be. I get distracted. I don’t always know what to pray for. Sometimes it feels like a chore. Often I feel guilty because I know prayer is a beautiful gift we have, and it is a calling. I want to have intimacy with my God, but my own imperfection discourages me. I often let my discouragement paralyze me, which inhibits me from growing in prayer. 

Prayer and Fasting as a Habit of Grace

I used to think that fasting was about “sacrificing” or “suffering” for God, showing Him just how much we loved Him by giving something up for Him. But this year, that all changed. I’ve personally only fasted a few times in my life. Yes. You read that. Only a few times. Recently, our church had a month-long fasting and prayer challenge, and for the first time I saw it in a new light. Fasting isn’t about sacrifice. It’s about finding our satisfaction in Jesus Christ.