When roles become rules: Expectation is the thief of appreciation in marriage and in life

The part that most people tend to overlook is that we are to submit to one another. We found that we appreciate each other so much more when we serve one another and share everyday responsibilities instead of merely focusing on our own. So my husband washes the dishes. I do too. Usually I cook. Sometimes he cleans. He pulls weeds. I mow the lawn. I do a load of laundry, then he does. We are careful not to assign jobs based on gender roles because we know being husband and wife isn’t about who works indoors and who works outdoors. It's a mirror of Christ and the church.

What will people say… when you quit your job to pursue ministry?

Some may say I burned out. But that wouldn’t explain this burning passion for Jesus inside of me. Some may call it settling. But God's Word calls it serving. I don't want a better job or a more impressive job title. I already had that. What I want is more of God.

Lessons I learned from playing the part of a pregnant, homeless teenager: We both need the same thing this Christmas

I was assigned the role of a pregnant, homeless teenager for the church Christmas musical. "How ironic is it that I speak and blog for a purity ministry and I’m playing the part of a pregnant teenager?” I should’ve known right then and there that it was time for a heart check.

Reclaiming purity: Unpacking the unintended messages of The Purity Movement

Your neckline must be two finger lengths from your collarbone. You can’t watch that movie. Your shorts are too short. You shouldn’t date. Sound familiar?

Like many of you, I grew up in The Purity Movement of the 1990s and early 2000s. To be honest, purity seemed kind of cool at the time. There were giant conferences promoting it, teen pop stars modeling abstinence, and parents buying their daughters fancy rings if they committed to saving sex for marriage.

You could even say that purity was popular.

Emotions: Can I Control Them?

We’ve all had days when life won’t let up. Days when when our circumstances just seem to drag us down. Days when we feel the brokenness of our world so keenly. On these days, the despair threatens to swallow us up. Our circumstances bring feelings of loneliness. Hopelessness. Negativity. Anger. Defeat. Stress. Rejection. Anxiety. Shame. Fear. Bitterness. Our emotions can blind us and tell us lies about our circumstances. It’s only when we encounter Jesus, the Truth, that we can be set free from these lies.

The dream that you wish will come true… but what if it doesn’t?

Despite what Disney tells us, a happy life isn't about all your wishes coming true, it's about the motives of your heart. What are you wishing for in the first place?
John Piper says,"We can live for our will or God’s will, or we could have our passions so transformed that we need not choose between the two."
If the desire of your heart are properly aligned with God's will, when you love what he loves, when you want what he wants, that's the real dream come true.

Taking Time to Smell the Roses is Spiritual Indeed – Ephesians 5:15-16

My Grandma often scolds me that I do not take time “to stop and smell the roses”. She’s right. I don’t. I like to keep busy and do as much as possible. Even when I’m spending time with the people that I love,  I like to squeeze in the memories and “maximize” the time. Thankfully, I'm married to a man who knows how to slow down.

No, you are not perfect just the way you are – 1 Corinthians 12:9

We fail a lot. In fact, you could say it’s human nature to fail and to do so frequently. So how can we fail and be "perfect just the way we are" at the same time? Something seems off about that...