Spartan Race: sometimes we need to be carried

Like a dam breaking, the Spartan runners sprang across the starting line. My sister, Rachel, and I followed the crowd. After a quick stumble, I glued my eyes to the ground. Because of the many runners who had already left their footprints in the mud, the path was pockmarked with divets…perfect for a twisted ankle. As other Spartans raced past us, my sister chanted to me, “I’m so glad you came.” For you see, my sister is the Spartan sprinter and...
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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...
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He Will Sustain You

What’s the thing that feels too heavy for you? Is it getting out of bed in the morning? Does the very monotony of life choke you? Pinchy Place In the recent months, I’ve snuggled deep into the uncomfortable stage my life is in. I’m pinched between my expectation for life and the reality I live. And, yes, it’s a pinch. No matter which way I wiggle, I’m still dissatisfied, frustrated, and uncomfortable. My prayers whine, “Goddddd, why am I here?...
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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...
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It’s More About What God HASN’T Done

It's More About What God HASN'T Done

The milk frother screamed behind me as it heated liquid to foam, and the cash register drawer rolled open. Conversations wove between the soft pop music. I sat at a vintage table across from a new friend, brainstorming a piece of her writing. Clutching my chai in its tall green mug, I stared at the creamy pattern in the top of the drink. “So how’s that going anyway?” Such a simple question. Why was it so hard to answer? And how...
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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...
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Confessions of a Mean Girl

I’m a mean girl. Have you watched Lindsey Lohan in Mean Girls? I was homeschooled so I always kind of thought that I was just the victim around here. Imagine my shock when I found myself wearing a t-shirt proclaiming, “We wear pink on Wednesdays.” Okay, okay. That didn’t happen. See, here’s my hope. I hope that I’m living a good life. A life that points to Jesus and reflects him to the best angle possible (we all know that...
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How Do You Please God?

Well. You can’t. Not really. But wait, hang with me while I unwind these thoughts out about how we please God. And feel free to tell me in the comments if you agree or disagree. Since reading Genesis 5 in the Bible, Enoch has captured my imagination and my curiosity. Here is a man who pleased God—pleased God so much that when his time on earth ended, Enoch was no more. He didn’t die. He just disappeared. He lived 365...
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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...
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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...
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