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.

On My Heart | The Church: Love it or Leave it

I have been known (at least in my own heart) to have a chip on my shoulder criticizing how churches operate: Why do all the pastors sit together instead of spreading out in the sanctuary? Why aren’t the pastors mingling with strangers? Why don’t those worship leaders go hangout with a loner in the back? And so on. But at one-point years ago in my grumbling to God about church operations, He so kindly reminded me that though I am not paid to do so, I am a part of the body…so if my heart is so strong in reaching out to people, why am I not the one doing exactly what I think they should do? 

On My Heart | Moving is Hard… but It Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t Worth It

Two days before I was offered the job I spent a lot of my time crying because I was so afraid of moving. I had spent my entire life in Michigan. My friends and family were all in Michigan, I had the best living situation of my entire life, and I was finally feeling settled. I had been praying for a camp job for almost a year, but I wanted my dream job on my own terms.I remember telling God, “If this is the door you are going to open for me, I will walk through it. But I really really don’t want to.”