Practicing the Presence of God: Making It Harder Than It Is

I slammed my pencil down on my math notebook, where half-worked problems sprawled. “I can’t do this!!!!” From the den, the computer chair creaked, and the soft thump of my mom’s step signaled her approach. I collapsed over my math textbook, notebook, and scratch paper. She needed to know that this was too hard, and it was hopeless, and I would never get it. I jutted out my lip. My mom pulls out the chair next to me. “What’s going...
Continue reading...

Book Recommendation: Move Toward The Mess

Book Recommendation: Move Toward The Mess

[Book received from Blog About for a review. Opinions are my own. Affiliate links included.] Move Toward The Mess jumped out at me from the e-newsletter. When I saw the title, my thoughts went like this: “Oh, I’m a mess. I should read that because I need to figure out how to lean into my own messy existence and be okay with my mess.” (Also, I love Andy Stanley, and he wrote the foreword) And so, I requested to read...
Continue reading...

When Hope Is Not Enough

You’d think that by now, I would understand hope. Well, maybe you didn’t, but I sure as coconuts thought that I’d have some sort of grasp on hope. I know The Hope. Yes, I’m talking about Jesus here. Intellectually, I recognize that Jesus is my hope. Not only does Jesus offer purpose for my life, but by his not-giving-me-what-I-actually-deserve, Jesus has given me the promise of eternity with him. Why doesn’t that fill me with joyous exclamations and rooftop hallelujahs?...
Continue reading...

When I Forget Who God Is

When I Forget Who God Is

The road directions mapped out my course on my phone even without wifi, and I jammed out to music as I sped down the roads. I knew half of the route after all. No need to worry. But first, a quick stop at a store to pick out a snack to take with me to the party. I walked through the sliding doors and bouquets of flowers bobbed at me. No, I didn’t need flowers. Two steps towards the food, and...
Continue reading...

My Grandmother’s Art Class

If any of you grew up with me, you’ll remember how difficult I was…stubborn, fierce, turbulent, rude, and pig-headed. Probably explains why I have so few friends from childhood (those of you who stuck around, thank you). Recently, I’ve been researching painting for a novel series that I’m working on, and while paging through one of the research materials, I remembered the story below from one of my art classes. “Barbara, mix a little water into the paint.” My grandmother...
Continue reading...

Maybe You Can Break Up with God

It’s not You, God. It’s me. I guess, what I’m saying is that it’s a personality difference. Your ways are higher than mine. Your ways make no sense. Maybe you can break up with God. “I’m just going to live my life without you.” It’s simple. We’re incompatible. Or it’s more like, “I trusted you. You allowed this to happen, letting me down just like every other person in my life. You think I’m going to trust you again?” You can’t break...
Continue reading...

And to Aspire to Live Quietly

A few weeks ago, I woke up with words and numbers imprinted on the insides of my eyelids. Okay, I was writing with drama, but these words were stuck in my head. That doesn’t happen to me. I was dubious that they could have any true meaning for my life. Ready to ignore them, I rolled out of bed and did the things that I do first in the morning. Try not to run into the wall as I walk down...
Continue reading...

When I Don’t Want to Sit with God

Do you know what it is to not want to spend time with God? Maybe just an extra 30 minutes of sleep will make a bigger difference in your day than time with God or maybe He’s screwed you over. It’s simple really. Life gets busy. Or complicated. Or it’s all just too tiring. And you just don’t want to or you just can’t. So you stop. No more morning devotions. No more reading the Bible, journaling, praying, or any...
Continue reading...