Are You All In?

Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.  What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail.”

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.  – Luke 1:34-38

So imagine with me…an angel has appeared and announced to Mary, Congratulations! You are single and we know you are engaged to be married to Joseph but God has chosen you to give birth to His son.

How would you respond?

Mary asked a very obvious question…Ummm…I’m a virgin, how is this possible?

Good question Mary!  It would probably be the first of at least a hundred questions I would have.

The angel Gabriel went on to explain that she would not only be with child, but that child would be the Son of God.  Mind blown! Continue reading “Are You All In?”

Down But Not Out

When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron.  Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations.  They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old. – Luke 1:5-7

I’m wondering if you’ve ever had hopes and dreams that didn’t turn out?  A great plan that just never came to be?  I hope you can answer “no” to these questions, but my guess is, if you are breathing, you’ll probably answer “yes”.  Our circumstances may be different but dwindling hope feels the same doesn’t it? 

As I read Luke 1:5-7 I am challenged by Zechariah and Elizabeth’s response to their unfulfilled dreams and likely dwindling hopes. Continue reading “Down But Not Out”

What Does Your Pain Drive You To?

Self reflection can be tiring, but I would assume fairly essential to recognizing what in life may need changed.  So this is the question I’ve been chewing on lately.  Do I turn to the right “things” when life is hard?  When I’m overwhelmed?  When I’m ______ (you can fill in the blank).

More importantly, I have been examining what my initial reactions are…what’s my default position when the going get’s tough?  Who or what do I turn to when I need comfort? Continue reading “What Does Your Pain Drive You To?”

What’s Your Excuse?

Excuses.  I’m pretty good at convincing myself and others around me. I have come up with lot’s of reasons over different seasons about why I could not go after what God was calling me to do.  Let’s see…I’ve been too busy, too single, too female, too fat, too quiet, too….  Go ahead, fill in the blank.

What are your excuses?  What makes you not enough?  What keeps you from going for all God has for you?  What do you allow to count you out? Continue reading “What’s Your Excuse?”

Lessons I’ve Learned From A Life That Didn’t Go As Planned

I don’t know that any aspect of my life is as I thought it would be when I was younger.  It is not at all the picture I had in my mind.  This truth has been the source of some, o.k., a lot of heartache and questioning for me.  As I have wrestled with God over the years about the disparity between the life I wanted and the life I have, I think I have learned and continue to learn a few things that I hope will encourage you if you find yourself in a life script that you would not have written for yourself.

Be Happy Today – Don’t wait for tomorrow.  Don’t wait until you’ve finished.  Don’t wait until you’ve arrived.  Don’t wait until the finish line.  Celebrate today.  Give thanks today. Rejoice over progress not just completion.  Life is happening now, embrace it.

Your Circumstances Don’t Define You – Oh, society will scream loudly and well intending people will label you, but you are so much more than your circumstances. Continue reading “Lessons I’ve Learned From A Life That Didn’t Go As Planned”

What Does Love Look Like?

This question popped into my mind today…what does love look like?  It’s easy to quickly think of a Hallmark movie, where two people overcome the odds, kiss in the last scene of the movie and end up living happily ever after.  Now don’t get me wrong, this girl LOVES a Hallmark movie, however, I think we cheat ourselves and others when we limit love to a romantic tale that can begin and end in a 2-hour story line.  Love is so much more than a nanny who has a plot twist and becomes a princess.

I think love takes time.  It is faithful and growing.  It keeps showing up day after day, week after week, year after year, in the good, the bad and the in between.

I think love is sacrifice.  It’s more than chocolates and roses, it’s giving time and attention to someone else, its choosing what makes them feel loved because their happiness is also yours.

I think love is action.  Words are nice but they alone won’t do when it comes to love.  Love responds.  Love gets up and shows up, love fights for what’s right and lends a hand in times of need.  Love is a verb. Continue reading “What Does Love Look Like?”

Happy Merry Messy Christmas

I always have this image of the perfect Christmas in my mind.  A beautifully decorated tree, a wonderfully hosted party, homemade Christmas goodies, thoughtful gifts for all, family gathered round, carols by candlelight and lots of Christmas cozy.  I am sure my visions of the “perfect” Christmas come from too many Hallmark movies and too much Pinterest surfing because the “perfect” Christmas has proven to be completely elusive.

Christmas in reality is, I run out of time and energy to get it all done and I focus full-time on trying to keep my Christmas peace in the midst of the busyness and chaos and I have an ache in my heart that always tends to grow a little stronger this time of year. Perfect is hard to accomplish but messy seems quite achievable! Continue reading “Happy Merry Messy Christmas”