Friday, November 16, 2012

Ordinary Life Extraordinary Gift

I believe that sometimes I get so wrapped up in thinking about what it is that God wants me to be doing with my life that I forget about what it is that I am already doing.  I get caught up  thinking about grand and glorious plans and ways of making big and amazing differences on a global scale that I don't see what is right in front of me.  I have been charged with the honor of raising 4 daughters.  I have made a vow to love a man.  God gave me these gifts.  He brought people into my life and sometimes (oftentimes) I get so caught up in serving others (in the name of serving my family) that I ignore the very people that God gave to me to love first and foremost directly after Him. I am out to change the world and I neglect the people I have been asked by God Himself to raise as His disciples.  Don't get me wrong- my children are by no means neglected- I am with them day in and day out and I cook and clean and am at their every event. However, am I doing the most amount of good I can for them?  Am I being the best example I can?  Am I showing them that being their mom is truly a gift? I want them to know that if all I did in life was to raise them to be godly women then it would be more than enough.  I would have made all the difference I need in the world.  God would have worked through me to do more than I could have ever imagined.  I want my everyday to be enough of a miracle that I count it as amazing.  My prayer is that I allow God to guide my steps and move from knowing that His will be done to living His will.  That is when my ordinary life will become an extraordinary gift.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I don't know what life God has intended for me, but I am quite sure that the one I am living isn't it.  The treadmill rat race of never ending craziness certainly cannot be the plan for me- or anyone.  There are moments of brilliance, and joy and love and even contentment, but overall, the restlessness pervades my soul and tells me He has more for me than this.  On my good days, I ask Him to show me what it is that I need to do to follow His will and get my act together to do what He has planned for me.  On my not so good days I get angry or sad or even a little depressed and wonder why I have wasted so many years trying to do His will only to have failed so miserably.  I then pray and look to Scripture and think maybe this or that is my cross to bear and what is in it for me to learn, how can I be a better person from this, what can I take from it, how is God speaking to me, and I contemplate my life and all the good that is in it and all the blessings I have on a daily basis.  I cannot complain.  I have been blessed and blessed abundantly. I am surrounded with people who love me and comforts that the majority of the people in the world can only dream about.  Yet, I still feel like I still have not found my true calling.  I know what I love to do and where I find small moments of peace, and yet do not know how to do that on a daily basis and make life work.  My soul aches for the feeling of belonging.  Perhaps I have finally come to the point where I realize that I am not home, and I will not lose that restlessness until I sit at the feet of Jesus.  Maybe I need to shift my focus and remember that my life here is only to prepare me for eternity with Jesus.  I am not supposed to feel like this is all there is because there is so much more waiting for me.  Instead of waiting for more than earth can give, I can just find the joy that is here and be content with all that it does offer and remember what is to come.  That could be a game changer.  Instead of asking the question "Is this all there is?"  It turns into a statement- "This is all I need, because I have so much more waiting for me!"

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Sometime ago, I was asked to contribute to a book of essays that was going to be compiled by Margaret McSweeney.  It was about lessons and legacies of faith.  I knew right away I wanted to tweak what I had written for my grandma's funeral.  It was exciting and daunting.  All of the proceeds from the book go in full to WINGS (Women In Need Growing Stronger), an organization located in the suburbs of Chicago, and Hands of Hope, which helps women and children in Africa.  I am honored to be a part of this project and am so excited to hold the finished product in my hand.  God is so good, and this is awesome!  Check it out at

Saturday, February 18, 2012

This is my life

Where does the time go?  It has been almost a year since my last post.  I have been writing a lot, but just not posting. God is growing me in ways I never imagined, and if I could, I would be able to fill several books with all the ways that God is showing me how He is at work in my life- even when it is difficult.  My life is running at full speed at all times, but with four children, a husband, and a big extended family, I expect it to be that way.  I take the quiet when I can, and really try to listen.  We have had some major changes in our lives in the last year, and it has not been easy.  Life can be disappointing.  Even though my world is relatively small as far as I am surrounded by people who at first glance are seemingly just like me, I am constantly amazed at just how different people are once you see what is truly important to them.  Several things have come to light over the past year that have shown me that people are not always who they seem.  In some ways it is good, because I have learned good things about people that I would have never known otherwise.  It reaffirmed that Jesus is the only one who will never let you down or disappoint you.  It still does not make it easier when those disappointments occur.  I have so far to go in my faith, and yet sometimes is seems like I am constantly being broken down to be made stronger.  Just when I think I cannot take anymore, or the whirlwind that is my life is going to finally catch up with me, something happens that fills me with peace or strength or love that sustains me.  I must be wired to need to live at a frenetic pace. I don't know what to do without a full schedule.  God is in control, and He will get me through.  My life is crazy, and it is busy, but it is also fun, and full of laughter and really good people who love much more than I deserve.  It is a rich and rewarding life.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Good enough to be Mary

When I was little my school had an amazing Christmas pageant.  I distinctly remember wanting to be chosen as Mary.  Year after year I was disappointed.  Every time they chose a blonde girl to play the part.  Seems funny to me now, seeing as my dark hair and olive skin would probably be much more culturally correct.  There was a sense of importance to the role.  Mary was the mother of Jesus.  She was the chosen one.  She did everything right.  She set a standard for girls to follow.    In high school my youth group did a live nativity and I finally got to play Mary.  Riding that donkey in the freezing night was amazing.  I will never win an Oscar, but I don’t think it would ever compare to those nights of being Mary.  They were nights filled with awe- thinking of what the real Mary much have thought as she travelled with Joseph.  Why had God chosen her?  What was her life going to become? The life that was growing inside her was the Savior of the World.  An incredible blessing. 

Years passed and I grew up.  God worked in my life and I felt his presence in many ways.  I ended up being a small group leader at an amazing church.  One day one of my small group members walked into group with someone new….the new pastor’s wife!  Now, this was not the first time this had happened to me.  Over the course of my group’s “life” many of the church’s leader’s spouses ended up in my group.  I say this simply because it is important and it shows how God works in our lives.  The thing is, I loved my group.  It was an amazing group of Godly women.  The longer I led it, the more I realized how amazing they truly were.  I also began to realize just how far I had to go on my own spiritual journey.  I had never thought I had my act together or even knew for sure why I was leading a small group.  I certainly didn’t feel qualified.  I just loved Jesus.   I liked community and wanted to serve.  I joined a group and when that group grew and it was time to birth, they asked me to lead.  I prayed about it, felt led to say yes, and people actually showed up!  Here is the thing though- I felt like I had a group of Mother Marys and my resume looked more like that of Mary Magdalene.  I had no idea why these women would be looking to me as a leader.  They were the ones who had it together.  They made much better choices than I had.  My demons were still raging within.  I still woke up each day and wondered if the real adults were going to show up at my door and tell me it was time to go.  Yet- these amazing women continued to show up every week and we learned from each other.  We built community and loved each other.  We shared each other’s burdens.  We celebrated life and sometimes that got messy.  I continued to “lead” the group although what that really meant is that I ultimately got the honor of claiming this group of woman as mine.

I carry a lot of baggage.  I am imperfect perfection.  After many years of God using many truly inspiring people who are much smarter than I will ever be, it finally dawned on me that there were two Marys at the cross.  Jesus wanted both of them with Him.  He needed them both.  If Mary Magdalene was good enough for Jesus, than I think I am as well.  I can stop thinking that I am not good enough, that I don’t have what takes to serve Jesus, and I can start being all that I am meant to be by throwing myself at the foot of the cross where I was born to be in the first place.  All the choices I made in the past were made for a purpose.  I made them to make me who I am today.  I can stop wallowing in the guilt of not being the Mary who was chosen to be the Mother of Jesus, and be thankful that I am exactly who Jesus called me to be.  He has a plan for me, and that plan is full of grace and love.   People tend to classify Mary Magdalene as a second-class citizen.  Some say she was a prostitute.  Some say she was possessed.   Either way, she struggled.  I imagine that she didn’t feel like she deserved to be loved.  Yet, she was at the side of Jesus at many important events.  She was not a second-class citizen to Jesus.  Neither am I.  Neither are you.  We are all good enough.  Jesus sees us through the perfection of the cross.  That is a beautiful thing.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I am invisible.  I cannot be seen and most certainly cannot be heard.  This only happens in my own home.  Others seem to have no problem acknowledging my presence, hearing my ideas, seeing me as a person of worth, and even treating as a real live breathing human.  Yet those whom I share my life with cannot grasp this concept.  It is draining.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I feel like I have all this information that I want to share, and yet I never actually sit down get it out of my head.  I have this dream of getting published, and so many people have told me I need to write a book, and yet- what does that look like?  How does one go about making it happen?  What happens if I actually sat down, wrote something resembling a book,  it got published, and then nobody bought the thing?  Do I have anything worth saying?  What makes me an expert on anything?  The flurry of activity of my life keeps me praying just to make it through the next hour most days.  God puts many opportunities in front of me, and I am so grateful for them.  I have an amazing life.  I feel abundantly blessed.  I also feel that I am not living up to the potential He placed in me.  I am not using the gifts He has given to the best of my abilities.  I waste a lot of time and squander blessings.  I could be doing so much more for God.  It makes me wonder what my life would look like if I did what I am truly capable of doing.  It is a bit frustrating because I know that I am the one who is holding myself back.  I fall into the same traps day after day.  I have only myself to blame.  God is there, calling out to me, showing me what to do, and I tell Him, "Just a minute.  I will be right there."  Before I know it, the day is over and I have thrown away 12 hours of possibilities for wasted time and broken promises.  I feel like I am watching my life go by.  I know what I want to do, and yet I am slow in getting it done.  A few years back I felt like I could not relate to St. Paul at all, and now I feel like I am getting to know him more and more each day.  Funny how God works and opens our eyes.  The good in all of this is that I know that each day when I wake up my Savior still loves me.  He still wants me to try to give him my best- no matter how pathetic the effort may be.  To Him, it isn't pathetic at all.  Each act of love I give to Him is beautiful.  No matter how small or insignificant it may seem to me, it is given out of love, and that means everything to Him.  He knows we are imperfect.  He knows we cannot be perfect.  That is why He went to the cross in the first place.  He doesn't expect perfection from us.  He just wants us.  However we are, to come to Him each day, in whatever state we are in, and offer ourselves.  He wants us to say "Here I am Lord- this is what you get today."  It may be a little, or it may be a lot.  Whatever it is, it is enough.  That is how I get through each day.  I give what I can, and know that He will bridge the gap.  His love paid that price and it is enough, and therefore, I, too am enough.  It is a beautiful thing.