The Blessing of Heartache

I’d much rather write a blog post titled, “the blessing of success”, “the blessing of victory”, “the blessing of discovered dreams”, those all sound pretty sweet! “The Blessing of Heartache” doesn’t really thrill me, but I am learning that there is truth in it.

The situation itself doesn’t matter because hurt is hurt, right?   I don’t know about you but I don’t like feeling hurt, I just want it to go away.  I will attempt to ignore it, numb it, block it out, whatever it takes, to just not feel it!

I was sitting in church a couple Sunday’s ago and feeling some fresh hurt.  I had walked through a few days of tears and heart ache and just wanting the situation to be different and for all the feels I was feeling to go away.  Please tell me you know what I’m talking about?

As I sat in the church pew, I felt God speaking to my heart, so I listened as He reminded me that He gets it.  He knows hurt, He knows what it feels like to be rejected, He knows the feeling of loneliness, He is well acquainted with grief, He knows what its like to feel overwhelmed by what you face tomorrow.  What comfort I felt as He reminded me that He understands my hurt, He understands yours as well and because He loves us, He hurts with us.

At that moment, I felt something that is definitely not my normal response, but I was thankful for the what the heartache I’m walking through reminds me of.  The hurt causes me to realize to a greater degree how much I need God.  How I need His comfort, His wisdom and His strength to make it through.  The hurt causes me to make changes I might not make otherwise.  It’s easy to get comfortable, it’s easy to settle for less than the best and pain can cause me to move and make a change.

For those things I am thankful, and if pain leads me to realize these truths down deep in my soul, then there is blessing in the heartache.  You see, God cares more about our hearts, more about our eternity than our current circumstances.  Sometimes the heartache produces the change we ultimately need and for that we can all give thanks, even when it’s hard and yes, even if it hurts.

Be Encouraged!



What’s Love Got To Do With It?

I can hear Tina Turner in my head now, “What’s love got to do, got to do with it, what’s love but a second-hand emotion, what’s love got to do, got to do with it, who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?”  Good question and she’s got a point!

I have thought often over the years that people are the best and worst part of life!  I know that may sound harsh, but let me explain.  Family and friendship can be so beautiful and sweet.  It is truly one of life’s greatest gifts to have someone who knows you in all your imperfectness and loves you still.  There is also the fact that if we love, we will get hurt and that part isn’t my favorite!  Relationships of all kinds at their best take time, work, attention, compromise and you will walk through times that are just plain hard.  I have just recently walked through this where I felt like I had poured into someone, let them in, only to have them betray me.  It was shocking, it was unexpected, it hurt deeply, it still stings and my immediate reaction is to want to shut down, put walls around my heart and not let anyone else in.

How do you react when someone mishandles the love you have shown?  What do you do when someone throws away the time and memories and you can’t make sense of it?  What do you do with the hurt when there is no “I’m sorry” and no explanation?  You may ask yourself as Ms. Turner did, “who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?”  I know that thought has crossed my mind lately.  These feelings are normal and completely understandable but they are not the final word.

1 Corinthians 13 known as the LOVE chapter says this:

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

You see my friend, love has EVERYTHING to do with it!  Love is why He came, Love is why He went to the cross, Love is why He is faithful, Love is why He is persistent, Love is why He is so kind, Love is why He keeps on forgiving, Love is why He stays.

And so I have my answer, Love is why I will forgive, Love is why I will keep showing up, Love is why I will humble myself, Love is why I will open my heart again, Love is why and it has EVERYTHING to do with it!

Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the GREATEST of these is love ❤

All I Ever Have To Be

On what should have been an hour and a half drive on a weekday afternoon, there was an accident on I-5 that made drive time turn into a 5 hour forced bonding time between myself and a work peer.  To pass the time while sitting there, we talked and after a couple of hours, started trying to entertain one another by playing various games we recalled from childhood family road trips.  My co-worker decided to play a game of “What’s your favorite?”, which led to her knowing much more about me than I would normally divulge to a colleague.  What’s your favorite color?  What’s your favorite movie?  What’s your favorite food?  What’s your favorite song?  I can’t answer that one!  I mean, there are so many, and it depends on what type of music, what mood I’m in, what memory its associated with, how do you pick one child over the other?!  The question actually stressed me out!

So, I say this with great hesitation, but if I had to pick a favorite song (which I’m still not going to commit to), the song “All I Ever Have To Be”, sung by Amy Grant and written by Gary Chapman would have to be on my short list.  This song was released in 1980, when I was still a young girl, however, I can clearly remember listening to the lyrics closely and the beautiful simple melody.  Even at the age of 8, this song resonated with me deeply.  Hard to explain it and I certainly did not realize the degree to which I would need to continue to be reminded of the words of this simple beauty throughout my life.

“All I Ever Have To Be”

When the weight of all my dreams
Is resting heavy on my head
And the thoughtful words of help and hope
Have all been nicely said
But I’m still hurting, wondering if I’ll ever be the one
I think I am – I think I amThen you gently re-remind me
That You’ve made me from the first
And the more I try to be the best
The more I get the worst
And I realize the good in me is only there because of who You are
Who You are…And all I ever have to be is what You’ve made me
Any more or less would be a step out of Your plan
As you daily recreate me help me always keep in mind
That I only have to do what I can find
And all I ever have to be
All I have to be
All I ever have to be is what You’ve made me


So dear one, if like me, you struggle with meeting the expectations of others or even more difficult, your own,  If you are tired of striving, If you feel more loved for what you do than who you are, then let me remind you as I remind myself.

  1. God made you, uniquely you on purpose, don’t try to be someone else.
  2. Give yourself some grace, we’re all unfinished.
  3. Never doubt for a minute, that even with your imperfections you are mind-blowingly loved.
  4. We don’t have to pull it off alone.  All the good is because of Him and He wants to handle our tough stuff too.
  5. Stop striving.  A good dose of rest in His love and grace, allows us to be who we were made to be.

Ahhhh, I feel better, how about you?

Be encouraged my friend!





He Gets It

Do you ever feel like no one understands what you are going through?  I do!  Like your friends or even your family just don’t get it?  Me, again!

The other morning heading to work I was feeling a little weary, a little hurt, a little angry a little a lot of things, I guess.  I was thinking about someone who I am frustrated with.  I guess I felt let down by this individual and I felt justified in my feelings.  The fact that this individual had not met what I feel are reasonable expectations left me feeling, hurt and a bit rejected during an already difficult period.  I was struggling in that moment to let it go, to forgive, especially absent an apology or acknowledgment of any wrong doing, which I wasn’t holding my breath for.

When I am feeling this way, whatever the circumstances may be, it is my desire to be understood, for my feelings to be heard, for someone to get it!  You know, acknowledge the issue and the fact that my feelings are understandable?!  However, as with many things in life, I often don’t get my way.  Sometimes, the situation isn’t appropriate to share with another so that I can feel validated.  Sometimes, the other person because of their own issues isn’t willing or capable to have the conversation that needs to be had. Sometimes, we don’t get what we want.

In that moment, driving down I-5, feeling un-understood, my mind focused on someone who does understand me and I was reminded of this truth, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”  – Hebrews 4:15.

When you don’t get the apology you deserve.  When you need help and no one is around. When you feel alone.  When there is conflict.  When people have more important priorities.  When no one wants to listen.  When people say false things about you.  When people hurt you.  When a friend turns their back on you.  When you struggle.  When life is hard.  When you are in pain.  When you are overwhelmed.  When you have been let down.  When you don’t seem to fit in.  When you are tempted.  When you are tired. When no one else gets it.  God gets it!  He knows how it feels, He felt it.

He gets it and you know what His response was and is?  To love anyway. To humble himself anyway.  To forgive anyway.  To lay down His life anyway.

His example challenges me.  I am so far most days from responding the way He does.  It is my desire to grow in the grace He lavishes on me.  I want grace, but how freely am I giving it away to others?

His example convicts me.  How can I withhold from others, what I so desperately need from Him?

His example comforts me.  It is certainly a wonderful feeling to be understood by our friends and family and I am thankful when that is a reality.  But when it’s not, I serve a God who understands me.  He understands my ways, my feelings and He loves me as I am.

So thankful for a God, who gets it!  He gets you too!



Glimpses of God’s Heart

The title “father” conjures up many emotions in people. We all have one, although some of us may have never known them, maybe we did, but it was a less than positive relationship. Some of us miss fathers that are no longer here and some may be a father themselves and have regrets about the job they’ve done. Even the best father in the crowd has days when he messes up and wishes he had remained patient, talked softer or listened closer. Despite each of our relationships with our earthly fathers we have a Heavenly Father who loves us perfectly, who is crazy about us despite our imperfections, who never gives up or runs out on us.

Every father is also a son who can learn from his perfect Heavenly Father how to lead, serve and model Christ’s love to their families in the nitty-gritty of daily life. I remember as a child our family didn’t have a whole lot of money. Goodwill was our go to store for clothing; it was very exciting when we had enough money to graduate to shopping at K-Mart! My dad worked extremely hard both at work and in the home to provide for us. I imagine that this was tiring and stressful, there were definitely times I could tell that was the case, but despite the limited funds and stress he made sure I got the sparkly jeans I was dying to have for my first day of 5th grade. When I was 16, disobeyed and took his van camping and then proceeded to back it into a tree, he didn’t fly off the handle when I called to inform him of my error in judgment. He showed mercy and restraint as he delivered the consequences and explained what I would be doing to repair the situation. As a young adult, he listened to me and let me cry on his shoulder after my first heart-break. When I felt I would never recover and I’m sure in hindsight, he knew I would, he showed tenderness towards me and just hugged me and told me he was sorry. It was just what I needed.

Just a few moments from my childhood that I remember in which my dad demonstrated to me not only his heart toward me, but gave me glimpses of God’s. Father’s, you have an immense responsibility to influence the hearts, minds and spirits of the lives of your children. You may mess up, no, you will mess up. I am not letting any cat out of the bag by telling you that my dad messed up, that he has regrets. It’s not about perfect, but it is about growth and progress about choosing today who you will serve, about saying I’m sorry when you get it wrong and demonstrating what humility and servant hood look like as you lead your family. It is NEVER too late to write a new story and make an impact, to learn more and do better, to be a father who gives your children ever-increasing glimpses of Christ’s heart towards them through you. What an opportunity and what a wonderful Heavenly Father you have as an example to follow. Happy Father’s Day!!

Me & my Pops ❤

What’s Christmas Really About?

So, if I were taking a poll about what Christmas is about, I imagine I would receive a variety of answers. Some may say, “it’s about spending time with friends and family”, others may say “giving gifts”, or maybe you’re into Jolly Old Saint Nick?

If you were to ask me, what Christmas is really about?  I would tell you that I love and cherish time with family and friends and I enjoy the shopping and finding that perfect gift to give.  I’m not so much into Jolly Old Saint Nick, but he sounds like fun!  For me Christmas is about the celebration of Christ’s birth.  Without His birth, there wouldn’t have been His death and His resurrection, which ultimately paid the price for my messes.

However, this year more than ever, I have been considering the miracle of Christ’s birth.  I’m not talking about the miracle of birth, which in and of itself is indeed miraculous and if any of you have ever given birth or witnessed one, you know what I’m talking about!  But, beyond, the miracle of birth, think of the obstacles that had to be overcome for Jesus to arrive on the scene and fulfill God’s plan to save humanity.

Let’s start with the obvious, He was born of a virgin, now I’ve never heard or seen that before or since?  Pretty amazing!!  Next miracle, Joseph finds out his fiancée is pregnant.  By the way, it’s not yours, this was God’s idea and oh ya, your son will be named Jesus because He will save people from their sins.  No offense guys, but I’m not thinking Joseph’s reaction would be typical of most men, pretty miraculous if you ask me!  The miracles continue, there was that bright star in the sky that led those from a far to come and celebrate the birth of baby Jesus and all He would mean to this world.  There is the angel who announces His long-awaited arrival.  It’s a pretty mind-blowing series of events that occurred to pull off God’s plan.

Which leads me to what I’ve been pondering…God will go to some pretty amazing lengths to move on our behalf.  He covers all the details, nothing catches Him by surprise and He’s highly innovative!  Understatement I know, but seriously, I started to think about some of the circumstances in my life, where the plan doesn’t seem like it’s gonna come together, where the goal seems so far away that I don’t know if I’ll see the finish line, where there’s hurt that just feels to hard to handle some days and when I look at my own abilities and my own resources, things can seem pretty darn bleak.

But, if I start to think about how God Himself looked out into time and saw me, knew my need and orchestrated this Christmas miracle by  introducing a Savior to the world, in the form of a helpless little baby boy…well, when I think on that for a bit, my faith starts to grow and hope begins to rise and I am reminded that God is capable of some pretty amazing feats and no matter how dark things may look, He can most definitely pull it off!!  Now that my friends, is some encouraging news!!

How about you?  Any circumstances you need changed?  Anything you feel overwhelmed or defeated by?  Is there a relationship that needs some fixing?  A disappointment that is really tough to bear?  A great big obstacle that seems impossible to overcome?  Might I suggest, that you take a few minutes to sit and really think about the miracle of Christmas, the amazing plan that God ensured came to pass, the mind-blowing way He chose to go about it.

I have a feeling that after you consider His amazing ways, you will feel quite a bit more confident about His ability to move on your behalf, about the extent He will go, to demonstrate His immense love for you.  Now, that my friends is what Christmas is all about!!

A Baby Changes Everything!

A young girl told by an angelic being that she has been chosen to give birth to the Savior of the world. I can only imagine what that was like to absorb! I am sure there must have been fear about what her fiance’ would have to say about the news? In a moment Mary was informed she was an integral part in God’s plan to save you and me and her whole world would never be the same.

What is most amazing was her response, “Be it unto me Lord, according to your word”.  In short, whatever your plan is Lord, I trust you.  What a great response to such a life altering plan.  Although, I would want that to be my response, I would put quite a bit of money on the fact, it would take some time for me to come around.  Maybe, that’s why God had an angel deliver the news, I would think that would be a big attention getter 🙂

Baby Jesus came and He changed everything, not just for his parents Mary and Joseph, but He changed everything for us.  He made a way for us to know Him, to have relationship with Him and to have eternal life, all of these indescribable gifts in one little baby destined to bring hope to all mankind!

And the real kicker, He will be called “Immanuel” God with us.  He came to be with us in this life and the one to come.  God wants to be with us…during the joy, during the pain, in the laughter and through the tears. He is with us!

This Baby changed everything!!  As we celebrate the birth of this world changer this Christmas, I pray that we are very mindful of His life changing gift and the fact that He is always with us, cause He wants to be!  Sounds like a reason to celebrate!!

Merriest of Christmases to you and yours!