Good & Order – Seeing Creation with Fresh Eyes

After 11 years, my Bible was looking pretty worn out. Random scribbles from children. Pages pulling away from the spine. A hodge podge of highlighting, underlining & notes. It was time for a new one.

I had heard of chronological bibles before and was curious. The idea of studying God’s word in chronological order intrigued my linear-thinking brain. I delight in structure and step-by-step processes.

My sweet hubby honored my request for a chronological bible for Christmas and it is without a doubt one of the nicest gifts I have ever received. I treasure time in God’s Word. This new version is helping me read scripture with fresh eyes.

Take for instance, the Creation story. If you’re familiar with this story, you may recall…

On the first day, God created light.

On the second day, He created sky.

On the third day, He created the seas, dry land, and vegetation.

On the fourth day, He created the sun, moon, and stars.

On the fifth day, He created the creatures of the sea and sky.

On the sixth day, He created the creatures of the land and mankind.

On the seventh day, he rested.

I’ve read this story a number of times. It’s easy to skim over it and think, “Yea, I know that story. It’s the creation story.” But what can easily be missed is what is beneath the surface — the evidence of God’s character.

From this story, we see that God is a God of order. He had a plan. A plan which He executed precisely. He didn’t haphazardly throw things together. He created in a linear, orderly fashion.

We see that God is a God of Light. He broke through the darkness. He created a greater light to govern the day and a lesser light to govern the night. With Him, there is no darkness.

We also see that God is good. At the end of each day, God saw that what He created was good. When He saw that something was not good, He changed it. After creating man, He saw that it was not good for man to be alone, so He created woman. He didn’t just say it was good. He said it was VERY good. {Sorry, just had to slip that in there, guys.}

From this story, we see that God sees the big picture. He is all-knowing and all-seeing. Someone with an earthly perspective might try to chalk up any one of these events to climate change or some other human explanation, but God knew what He was doing.

This story also reveals that God is caring. He created and blessed mankind. He gave us plants for food and authority over animals. He gave man and woman each other. He desires the good of mankind.

Because this story is so familiar to us, we risk letting its impact fade. We must seek to see His story with fresh eyes. Too many of us have fallen into the trap of believing that God is distant and disconnected from our lives. We need reminded that He is good and caring. Too many of us blame God for the darkness and chaos in the world. We need to remember that with God there is light and order. Darkness and chaos do not come from Him. Too many of us feel lost and wonder why it is that God has forgotten about us. We need reminded that God has a plan and He wants each of us to be a part of it.

If life feels chaotic,…

If parts of it are shrouded in darkness,…

If God feels distant,…

perhaps it’s time for you to join the story…His story.


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Good and Gritty


Trials–Nobody likes them.

Yet, God says,

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  James 1:2-4

As humans, we have an innate desire to be mature and complete. This desire manifests itself early in childhood when the growing toddler stumbles to take his first step and later when the maturing teenager begins to learn how to balance all the responsibilities of young adulthood. We, as humans, are constantly growing and changing.

Or, are we?

Why have some of us decided that the evolving process of growing and changing has ended for us?

Living things grow and change.

If we are not growing and changing, what does that say about us?

What does God’s word say about us if we are not engaging in the maturation process? It says that we are incomplete and lacking. We are like the runner who feels accomplished enough by the miles behind him that he slows down, steps out of his lane and kicks back in his recliner. Meanwhile, the race continues.

How do we allow ourselves to arrive at a place where we think we’re “good”? Where we communicate to God that His work in us is done?

Each transition we make in life as a result of the growing process requires some form of being stretched beyond our current level of comfort. It may be mildly unpleasant or it may be excruciatingly painful.

Are you there right now? Are you in that place that is so uncomfortable or painful that you just want to scream or curl up in a ball?

Change can be hard. The unknown can be scary. The unanswered can be devastating. But what does God’s Word tell us?

“Consider it pure joy…”

How can that be, especially, when joy seems like nothing more than a faint and distant memory?

It can be when we embrace the limitations of our human perspective. We must enter the place where we humble ourselves and acknowledge that we are not God. This is where we have to let go and let God be God.

While our human-ness fixates on the incessant irritation of the grit, God’s divine authority positions Him to see the beautiful pearl that He is forming in us.

Don’t by-pass the maturation process. Submit to it. Then, one day you will stand and look back at the path you’ve taken, complete and lacking nothing.

Could someone in your life be encouraged by this post? If so, please share.

Afraid to Ask: Learning to pray with gut-level honesty


The first time her hair fell out, I didn’t think anything of it. I knew baby hair loss was normal and I had experienced it with my first two children. Her hair eventually started growing back in. But when it all fell out a second time, my husband and I started to suspect there might be something more going on.

A few trips to the doctor and one biopsy later, the term “alopecia” would become part of our vocabulary. We were told our little girl’s immune system was attacking her  hair follicles causing her hair to fall out. Not only that, but she had a rare type that affected her whole body and gave her only a 10% chance of ever growing hair.

Immediately, concerns of having my little girl grow up bald began to emerge. Would she grow up feeling different? How would the kids at school react to her?  Would she resent having to live with a disorder? How would she feel when she saw her sisters fixing their hair and she didn’t have any hair to fix? 

When it comes to challenges in life, I tend to have a flight response. I want to run away. I don’t like to deal with issues. I much rather prefer to keep moving along pretending like everything’s okay, even when they’re not. So that’s what I did. Or, at least, that’s what I tried to do.

In the beginningI didn’t really know how to pray. The mix of shock that a disorder was now part of my child’s life kept me from finding the right words. Thankfully, we had dear friends and family who surrounded us in prayer. Their prayers carried me through those first few weeks of confusion.

I eventually arrived at a place where I believed I had peace with my daughter’s diagnosis. Then, one Sunday morning, I heard a sermon on prayer. I was reminded of the need for gut-level honesty when talking to God. What I didn’t realize, at the time, was that my prayer life lacked a certain level of honesty.

Some time later, I found myself at a conference. The speaker opened by talking about the power of fervent prayer. She addressed different areas of life and encouraged us to raise our hand if we needed prayer in that area. Then, she lead the audience in praying fervently over one another’s needs. When it came time to pray for health, I knew I was going to raise my hand on behalf of my baby girl. It was in that moment that God pierced my heart with this truth, …“You haven’t even asked me to heal her.”

These words cut right to my heart. He was right. I hadn’t asked Him. I had prayed that He would equip my daughter to carry this load. I had asked for His hand and protection on her life. I had asked for strength. But I had never once felt comfortable enough to ask Him to heal her.

That revelation was devestating to me because it made known the condition of our relationship. It revealed my fear to approach Him with such a big request. It exposed my mistrust in Him. It uncovered the insecurity of my self-worth.

I hadn’t asked because I was afraid of how He might or might not respond. I realized in that moment that I harbored doubt towards God. I claimed to trust Him, but our relationship was undermined by the lie that every once in awhile I still need to take care of myself. I still faultily believed that sometimes I just need to depend on myself to muster up enough strength to keep moving along acting like everything is okay. This lie kept me from, honestly, going to God with my fears.

That was the beginning of a deeper, more honest prayer relationship with my heavenly Father. I’m still near the beginning of this journey and I don’t know what lies ahead for my daughter, but I do know that I can trust God completely with her. I know that He loves and cares for her and that He is in control.

I know that I don’t need to be afraid to be honest with Him.

And I know that during the trials of life, God is still good.

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

1 John 4:16


What is the level of honesty in your conversations with God? Would you describe it as gut-level honesty?

What is going on in your life, right now, and how do you feel about it? Have you shared that with Him?

Have you gotten stuck in a prayer rut where you feel like you’re praying the same prayers over and over? Our prayers shouldn’t be characterized by rote memorization. Instead, slow down and sit in His presence. He cares about you and wants to hear from you. He doesn’t want your lip service. He wants your heart. He wants you to be honest with Him.

“You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”   

James 4: 2-3


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Everyday Choices

Sadness crept in and weighed heavy on my heart while I listened to my friend’s story. A couple left their 3-month-old baby in the care of a friend so they could go out to dinner. While they were out, they got a phone call from the sitter who said she had dropped the baby. The parents rushed to the hospital where they were met by a doctor who informed them that their baby had suffered a severe skull fracture big enough it should’ve killed him. The doctor made it clear that a fracture so severe could not have been caused by a drop.

My mind swirled with unanswered questions. “What would cause a person to react so severely?”…”How could someone harm an innocent baby?”…

My friend’s next words sunk deep within me…,

Every day we make a choice not to lose it.”

These words give gravity to the choices we face everyday. Choices that are so common and frequent that we don’t even realize we make them. If we’re honest, some of us might realize that we’ve unintentionally relinquished our power to choose how we respond to life. In our powerlessness, we have become subject to subconscious emotional reactions or, even worse, slaves to emotional numbness.

Every day we make choices.


to ignore or to listen,

to dismiss or to engage,

to criticize or to affirm,

to manipulate or to respect,

to hurt or to heal,

to hoard or to give,

to complain or to thank,

to fear or to trust,

to harm or to protect.

Everyday our choices have the potential to significantly impact the lives of those around us. Our choices either show God’s love or they don’t.

It’s our responsibility to stop thoughtlessly reacting and, instead, start intentionally choosing to pursue love, joy, peace, forgiveness, and grace. We must take back the power to choose. We must choose a new way.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'”

Isaiah 30:21

Reflect on this…

None of us gets it right all the time. Only one man did – Jesus. But what do the majority of your words and actions towards others reflect? Worry? Bitterness? Pride? God’s Love?

Is there a particular situation or person in your life where you struggle to reflect God’s love? Ask God to help you see the person through His eyes. Ask Him to help you love the person the way that He loves the person. Before every encounter pray to be a reflection of His love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7



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Come To Me

Jesus says, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…”

We all go somewhere when we feel weary…when the burdens of life get heavy.

Where do you go?  to the TV…to bed…to a drink…to the fridge…to the office…

So many things beckon our attention and give us the illusion of offering rest.

Binging on TV for hours numbs our brain and temporarily distracts us from the mundaneness of life.  Crawling in bed and hiding under the covers gives us the illusion of hiding from stress. Getting lost in a drink deceives us into thinking that our troubles are melting away. Stuffing our face when we’re not hungry deludes us into feeling comforted. Distracting ourselves with work fools us into falsely escaping from our responsibilities.

But, Jesus says “Come to me all who are weary and burdened…”

So, why don’t more of us go to Him, when we’re weary?

Is it possible that if we go to Him, first, we might not seek second-rate comforts?

Sometimes, at the end of the day after the kids have gone to bed, I’ll reach for my Bible and journal before reaching for the remote. {I don’t do this all the time. I mean I am human.} But after I do, certain things of this world suddenly become less appealing.

Something happens to us when in our weariness we, first, seek Jesus. Our minds get renewed. Our hearts get purified. Our spirit gets strengthened.

Never have I finished a TV binge session and thought, “Wow, I feel so renewed.” I usually feel just as tired and bored as I did before I started.

Nothing else can offer true rest. They only offer a temporary distraction from our weariness.

But Jesus,…He promises rest for your soul (Matthew 11: 29).

Soul-level rest, not just physical rest. Rest that has the power to quench dry bones, revive shriveled hearts, and lift heavy spirits.

Jesus says, “…learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart”

He wants to teach us.

Are we ready to learn?



Where do you tend to go for rest? Do you long to experience a soul-level kind of rest? Spend some time with Jesus. This may mean pouring your heart out to Him or this may mean sitting in silence while you listen. This may mean meditating on scripture or it may mean journaling your thoughts as you reflect on a verse. It doesn’t have to look a certain way.

Ask Him to help you be intentional about going to Him, first, when you are feeling weary and burdened?


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,

for I am gentle and humble in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30


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Make Me

Whenever I read Psalm 23, I get hung up on one particular verse.

If you’re not familiar with this passage, it begins like this…

1 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;

3 he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake…

{I encourage you to pick up a bible and read the rest of the passage.}

It’s verse 2 that I get hung up on…, “He makes me lie down in green pastures.”

“He makes me…” Never mind what comes after that. It’s those first few words that get me.


My first reaction is to revert back to my rebellious adolescence and shout, “YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!”

I’m an adult in my mid-30’s, yet my initial gut reaction is still to resist and retaliate…, “You can’t make me…”

But isn’t that exactly why He MUST make us. Because without His authority, we might never stop. We’ll keep going and doing and striving and climbing…. We’ll stay busy and distracted until our heads spin out of control or until we can’t feel anything anymore. Until, finally, we crash and burn.

In His authority, there is love and protection. In making us lie down, His desire is to save us from the crash and burn. His love wants to shield us from the busyness and distraction that threatens to destroy our hearts and our relationships.

He wants to make us lie down IN GREEN PASTURES

Soft, green grass

A stream gently flowing nearby

The sun shining on our face

Lying under a clear blue sky

Perfect. Peace. Rest.

 Let Him lead you.

Let Him restore you.

Let Him make you…lie down.

green pasture


In your life, are you experiencing this kind of rest that comes from the Father? If not, why not?

If your heart longs to experience this kind of rest, spend some silent time with God. Tell Him just how weary or lost you feel. Then, listen and allow Him to “whisper” to your heart.

Is there a certain area of your life that feels out of control? Surrender it to Him. Ask Him to show you how to accept and experience His guidance in this area of your life.


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Leaving a Legacy

As a mom of three little ones, it’s probably safe to say that approximately 85% of my TV-viewing consists of cartoons. One show that my daughter particularly likes is Sofia the First. If you’re not familiar with Princess Sofia, let me introduce you…


Sofia is a young village girl who became a princess overnight. From the theme song, we learn that she and her mother were commoners living in the village when her mother met the king, got married, and became part of the royal family. Part of Sofia’s journey is learning how to adjust to her new life as a princess.

One morning while in the kitchen, I overheard a conversation between Sofia and another little girl named Lucinda that caught my attention. Lucinda is known as a trouble-maker. She play tricks (aka “hexes”) on the other kids in the village. As a result, Lucinda is an outsider. Lucinda learns about a birthday party that all of the children in the village are invited to attend, except for her. Sofia wants to protect her friend’s birthday party from being ruined, so she decides to have a talk with Lucinda.

Sofia: “If you want friends, why do you act so mean?”

Lucinda: “I don’t know how else to act.”

Sofia: “WHAT?”

Lucinda: “Hexing is all I know how to do. My parents are witches. My grandparents are witches. My great-grandparents are witches…”

[This is when my ears perked up. Inspiration jump out at me from the most unlikely places. Bear with me…]

Lucinda’s response sounded strangely familiar.  Her excuse sounded like the kind of excuse I am tempted to make when I stumble and fall; when I let down my guard and revert back to my old ways of thinking and reacting. When my words and actions towards the people whom are closest to me are unintentionally unkind or brash, my first reaction is not to apologize, but to make an excuse….”I’m tired…I can’t help it. That’s just my personality.” 

Each one of us comes from a unique background of learned behaviors — ways of interacting, responding to, and reacting towards life and people. Some of the things we picked up along the way are good and some of the things we picked up along the way are not so good.

At some point, we all have to become big boys and girls and decide what kind of legacy we want to leave. We must sort through the stuff that we’ve experienced and choose what we want to pass on to the next generation and what we’d rather leave behind. This requires change and change requires being intentional because habits are hard to break.

Unlearning an undesirable behavior requires us to wake up from a comfortable state of automaticity and, instead, pursue a different way. To openly pursue a new way require us to learn how to walk in a new way. Like a toddler learning how to walk for the first time, we must regain our balance, take baby steps, stumble, and maybe even bust a lip.

Like Lucinda, we feel like we don’t know how else to act.

We are creatures of habit. Our minds want to do one thing, yet our bodies do another. It’s the reason some of us get defensive, withdraw, or blow up instead of engage,  listen, and communicate. It’s the reason some of us are blind to our own selfish ways and fail miserably at putting someone else’s feelings in front of our own. Our flesh too often steers us in the wrong direction.

Real change requires something much bigger. True transformation requires someone much bigger. God’s power working in and through you has the power to make you a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Recognizing that you need to change and admitting that you can’t change on your own is the first step. Surrendering control of your life to a sovereign God and giving him all access to the most broken and damaged parts of your heart is the next step. Both will bring new life and restoration to your soul.

So the question you have to ask yourself is do you want to stay stuck where you are and pass on a legacy of insecurity, over-indulgence, infidelity, selfishness, anger, un-forgiveness, etc…? Or will you invite God to begin a transforming work in you, so that you may leave a very different legacy – one that honors God?


The Art of Spending Time

“I wanna help.”

My neck stiffens. I’m barely awake and struggling to function. The words, “No, just let me do it,” come out of my mouth.

My 3-year-old is insistent, “No, I wanna help.” I take a deep breath and say, “Okay.”

A task master by nature, I struggle when things get in my way or slow me down. While this might be good for getting things done, it’s not always good for the people in my life. Unfortunately, this kind of “git ‘r done” attitude has caused me to miss many opportunities for quality time with the people who are most important to me-my spouse and kids.

There are times when I grunt in frustration when my spouse stops me for an embrace while I’m at work in the kitchen. I’m also guilty of repeating the phrase, “Ok, I’ll be there in just a minute,” five or six times to my kids who are waiting anxiously for me to play. I even ignore the dog barking at the back door sometimes, hoping that someone else will get annoyed and open the door while I peck away at my computer.

Overtime, I’ve learned to release my grip on life and give way to slowing down and surrendering to life’s little moments. I try to focus more on who I’m “being” in the moment, rather than on what I’m  “doing”. What I do doesn’t mean much if I’m being an ogre in the process. God says it best in this verse, …if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. {1 Corinthians 13:2}

In other words, who cares what you do or what you gain, if you don’t have love. That to-do list you’re determined to complete, that ladder you’re dying to climb, that body you’re working so hard to have–what does it matter if it’s causing you to be unloving and disconnected towards the people in your life?

Slowly I’m learning not to push away opportunities to connect with my spouse. I kindly welcome loving embraces from my husband mid-cleaning. I surrender to invitations to spontaneously dance in the kitchen mid-cooking, instead of jumping back and hissing like a cat. I have even given in to him dipping me consecutively 5 times. Then, laughed when he exclaimed, “See Honey? We can dance with the stars.”

I’m learning to recognize teachable moments with my kids. I patiently welcome my 3-year-old to help me make breakfast. I gladly accept an invitation from my 8-year-old to play an invented game of Legos. And I  gladly {ahem}  let my 18-month-old help unload the dishwasher.

The result of surrendering to life’s little moments may take longer and result in less than perfect days, but beneath the surface things are better. My spouse feels wanted and loved. My children feel accepted and affirmed.

I imagine our heavenly Father looking down on us feels much the same. He can do all things. He is the Creator. He is sovereign. He doesn’t need our help, but He wants our help. Like a parent, He wants to spend time with us. Unlike us, He is perfect. He doesn’t ever force us or try to control us. Instead He invites us. He invites us to join Him in His work because He desires that relationship with us. He is at work all around us. We just need to slow down and open our eyes, so we can recognize the opportunities He has placed before us. We need to be willing to be interrupted, so that we may surrender and enjoy life’s little moments.



Do you intentionally keep people in your life at a distance for the sake of efficiency or gain? Could selfishness be causing you to disconnect from your loved ones?

Where do you fall in terms of ‘doing’ versus ‘being’? Do you need to focus on being more present to the people God has placed in your life?

Thank God for never being forceful or controlling, but for loving you and wanting to spend time with you. Ask Him to open your eyes to His invitation in your life and don’t be afraid to accept it.

Resisting God’s Gifts

Like most toddlers, my 18-month-old loves exercising what little independence she has. Recently, she’s discovered that she can sneak in and help herself to some grapes when one of us unsuspectingly opens the refrigerator door. Unfortunately, what she doesn’t know is that the grapes she’s eating are dirty.

I usually don’t rinse fruit until right before we eat it, so when she helps herself without permission she’s getting grimy grapes straight from the store. When I catch her in the act, I intervene, grab a handful of grapes, and rinse them off for her. But rather than accept the bowl of freshly rinsed grapes I offer her, she throws a fit, turns her back, and reaches in for another dirty grape. It’s really quite ridiculous. What I’ve come to realize, is that it’s not about the grapes at all. It’s about doing things her way, even if what I have to offer is better.

This scenario sounds oddly familiar…{and here I go putting my spiritual spin on things…}

We live in a world where we’re told to work hard and be independent. We’re made to feel that accepting something freely is free loading. We feel like in order to get something, we must earn it or, at the very least, return the favor. It feels awkward to simply receive. Think about it…when was the last time you received a favor or a gift without feeling the slightest twinge that you should do something in return.

But isn’t that exactly what God, often, calls us to do?

To receive His love.

To receive His grace.

To receive His forgiveness.

But our human nature fights this.

My walk with the Lord has been a journey of learning to surrender my life to Him, one area at a time. For years there was one area in particular that I struggled to let go of. I would go through the same agonizing process every few months for years. I’d “surrender” it to the Lord only to take it back and feel defeated all over again. When it finally became too heavy of a burden to carry anymore, God opened my eyes to how stubborn I was being. It was as if I was saying, “Okay, God, I trust you with everything else except this one thing. I’ll figure out how to deal with it myself.”

But God in His great mercy revealed to me that He was offering me healing, but that I was refusing to accept it. In His great love, all that He was asking of me was to simply receive it and trust Him. His path to healing was much different than what I expected, but His ways usually are.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” 

Isaiah 55:8

God knows the big picture of our lives, we don’t. His ways are good even though we may not understand them. His plans are to give us hope and a future. Never to harm us. (Jeremiah 29:11) We must trust Him at His Word and hold onto this truth.

 Pray & Reflect

 How difficult is it for you to freely receive a favor or gift? How does that translate into your acceptance of God’s work in your life?

Have you been resisting Him and trying to do things your own way? Confess anything that you are struggling to completely surrender to Him. He wants to restore you, but you must ask and be willing to trust and follow His ways.

 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”

Ephesians 3:20


He is at work within you. Preparing you for something far beyond what you can imagine. Accept what He is offering. It is good.


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Soccer Moms Sin, Too

This year my husband and I coached our 8-year-old daughter’s soccer team. At the beginning of the season, we had three girls who had never played soccer and two who weren’t excited about playing. Our goal was to make soccer fun! 20140913_113203

My husband’s gift for motivating kids along with his competitive nature resulted in a great season with only one loss.  By the end of the season, the girls had gained confidence and developed a love for soccer. You can imagine our excitement when our team made it to the championship game.

The week of the final game was crazy. Due to impending storms, the tournament schedule was pushed up and the girls had played three nights in a row. The night before the big game, the girls had played through the rain. By game day, everyone was pretty worn out.

All season I had been intentional about keeping things positive even when mistakes were made. I had been the girls’ #1 cheerleader, but for this last game something felt different. Even though I wanted to encourage the girls, the words that came out of my mouth felt forced and insincere. Instead of shielding the girls from the grumbling on the sidelines, I found myself joining in.

My thoughts became suspicious and I became “huffy”. I was convinced that the other coach was trying to trip up our girls. I was ready to accuse the other team of playing “dirty”. Unfortunately, the championship game ended up being our 2nd loss of the season. The loss was probably more devastating to the parents than the girls. Some of us had speculations about why we lost, but the truth is, we were simply outplayed.

At home, Jeff and I couldn’t stop talking about the game. Our 8-year-old daughter, being the mature soul that she is, was the one encouraging me, instead of the other way around. After confessing my ugly thoughts and attitude, she spoke wise words to me…, “Who would want a trophy more than God anyway?” 2015-04-25 10.21.28

She was right…

In the end, the evening was a much-needed reminder that no matter how spiritually mature I think I may be, I am still prone to wander no less. Paul, an apostle sent by Jesus Christ and God the Father, gives us a solid reminder in his letter to the churches of Galatia…

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature for the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”

Galatians 5: 16-17

That last sentence says it perfectly – “They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” I’d venture to say, that we all want to do the right thing, but if we are not living by the Spirit, we become slaves to our flesh and don’t do the very thing our Spirit knows we ought. Our flesh is weak.

If we are not “gratifying the desires of the sinful nature”, we bear fruit which takes on the form of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). 

A better example, of this was my husband on the day of the championship game. By nature, he is very competitive and he knows it, so the day of the big game, he had intentionally sought God. Throughout his day, he had prayed, read Scripture, and confessed to God his need for Him. By game time, he was submitted to the Spirit.

With God’s grace, Jeff was able to let things roll off his shoulder and hold his tongue when his flesh wanted to do otherwise. While the rest of us grumbled and complained on the sidelines, he was self-controlled. He was walking in the Spirit.


How are you doing when it comes to living by the Spirit?

Have you been forsaking the Spirit and trying to do things in your own power?

Confess it to God and ask for forgiveness. Ask God for a Spirit of (fill in the blank) >> [love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control].

 Be intentional in every situation

In Paul’s words,

“Watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)

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{…even if it is just grumbling at your daughter’s soccer game.}