April Fools!

Lauren is patient. Lauren is kind. She does not envy, she does not boast, she is not proud. Lauren is not rude, she is not self-seeking, she is not easily angered, she keeps no record of wrongs.


In all seriousness though…you may recognize these words as part of the ‘love verse’ in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13. The verse goes on to say that love protects, trusts, hopes, and always perseveres. “And love never fails.”  This truth, my friend, is no April fools joke.

I was challenged on a retreat once to put my name in the place of ‘love’ in these verses and ask myself if I dare read it out loud to my closest family and friends…or even to strangers I interact with today. Needless to say, I was humbled.

Love is a gift from God. The first attribute listed in the fruit of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit enables us to bear this fruit of love. My love is not even close to perfect. Sometimes I’m patient, but not always. I am not always self-seeking, but that tends to be my fallback. However, I follow a God who’s love is perfect and endures forever.

My only chance at unselfish love is through a relationship with Christ. Jesus’ love restores me daily. But I must put Him first. By spending time in prayer and Scripture, I am reminded of a grace and transformational love that is quite different than what the world offers me.

In the First15 devotional, Craig Denison writes:

“Of all the wonders our Creator provides us, boundless and unadulterated relationship with Jesus vastly exceeds them all. Jesus is the best thing we will ever know. His love restores, satisfies, transforms, and heals. His grace empowers and brings transcendent peace. His nearness resolves the great fears of our hearts. And his Kingship calls us to a right lifestyle of living for heaven rather than a pursuit of that which is worldly and fleeting.”

1 Corinthians 1:18 tells us that the message of the cross may sound like foolishness to some. Yet, it’s through Christ’s death and resurrection that God’s power and wisdom is imparted to us. In his Lenten devotional, Drawn to the Cross, Henri Nouwen suggests that in a world with so many false promises, we should seek to be “fools for Christ.”

So this April 1st and Lenten season, as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, I am reminded that Jesus is my only hope. My favorite song these days is “Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me” by CityAlight:

“What gift of grace is Jesus my redeemer…My steadfast love, my deep and boundless peace. To this I hold my hope is only Jesus…oh the chains are released, I can sing, ‘I am free.’ Yet not I, but through Christ in me.”

On this April Fools’ Day, I pray that being rooted and established in love, we may have to power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for us…so that we might experience the fullness of life that only He can give. (Ephesians 3:18)


Hindsight is 2020

As we wake up, bleary eyed, on January 1, many of us will do so with relief…relief that 2020 is hindsight. And with hope…hope that 2021 will bring more peace, joy, and hugs. 

There’s no way around it; 2020 was rough. Each family rode out the storm facing a variation of gusts, in a variation of boats. But we all felt the impact of the storm – and are coming out the other side feeling a little (or a lot) battered. 

But now, we are in the homestretch. And we wait. We wait, with anticipation, for a time when work and education are steady, hugs and high fives are plentiful, and we can pack out a basement to watch a Chiefs game.

This year, particularly, the Christ Child is born into a world in desperate need of comfort and hope. A world that is weary. A world where rejoicing feels just out of reach.

As we wrap up the first week of Advent – one that focuses on hope – we anticipate the coming of a better time. As a matter of fact, that’s what Advent means. Advent is a time of hopeful, expectant waiting.

We anticipate the birth of Emmanuel, God with us. And we wait, not just for Christmas, but for the Kingdom of Heaven to come in fullness. We are living in the “already, but not yet.” Jesus is born and died on the cross. But we still await His triumphant return and the realization of His perfect Kingdom. Advent is a microcosm of our hopeful waiting in faith.

Weary and burdened, we wait for the Lord, Emmanuel, with our whole being and put our hope in His unfailing love. (Psalm 130) Our hope is an anchor for our souls. (Hebrews 6:19) And even in the midst of a difficult year, we are called to be joyful in hope and patient in affliction. (Romans 12:12)

So this Advent season and the year 2020 AD, “may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him…” (Romans 15:13) And may we all feel ‘a thrill of hope as the weary world rejoices.’ If we listen carefully, we might just hear the angel voices sing.

Romans 5:3-4 reminds us that that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Maybe that’s our silver lining to this pandemic. After all, hindsight is 2020.

STARTing With a Clean Slate

Happy New Year!  I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. Maybe I feel like I’m just setting myself up for failure.  But with a clean slate at the New Year, it’s an ideal time for me to consider some healthier goals.  Maybe more cardio. (The ‘maybe’ gives me leeway.) Maybe healthier eating. (Maybe not.) But one of my goals in 2019 is definitely to seek healthier tech habits for myself and our family. Technology and smart devices bring us many wonderful benefits, yet all of these screens bring specific challenges to our family too.

This past year, I was introduced to and have had the honor of getting involved with an organization called START – Stand Together and Rethink Technology. What I love about START is that its mission completely acknowledges that technology is not a bad thing! Yet, there are also unintended consequences that we are beginning to feel within our very own homes and communities.

START has come alongside our family to help us realize and integrate a healthier lifestyle around tech use and screens in our home.  We definitely don’t have it all figured out; we continue to just try to do our best day-to-day with our family’s technology norms and expectations.

Since each family has its own needs, values, and priorities, I certainly won’t try to tell you how tech can best be integrated in your home.  But, I am excited to share with you about START. Check it out at www.westartnow.org. Even for those of you who don’t live in Kansas City, the new blog can be a great resource. It launched this January and will have a different theme each month.  And the START Facebook page will share tips and articles in line with the month’s theme.

You can read a post I wrote about how START has impacted our family on the blog here: START Three-Part Parent Program.

And you can read about this month’s theme here: Device Bedtimes.

With the ever-changing landscape of technology, I’m thankful to have an organization like START to help guide our family. I may not be a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I will be resolute in my effort to put people before screens this year. Join me?

This is the Day…

This is the day that the Lord (and the school district) has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!!

My ears are ringing from the silence in our house…the first day of school. Whew, a little routine and some quiet moments is a welcome respite for me! Every 365 days, the world celebrates the New Year with fireworks, champagne toasts, and New Year’s resolutions. But for me, my new year starts at the beginning of a school year. The first day of school represents a change in our family’s life more than January 1. The only sadness from this mama is the reminder that the freight train of time cannot be stopped or even slowed down. I am reminded of passing time, more than ever, as my children move on to the next grade.

With a new year comes resolutions. And my resolution is ‘to do’ LESS… easier said than done. I am a slave to my ‘To Do’ list. I keep a general ‘To Do’ list, a ‘To Do This Week’ list, and a ‘To Do Today’ list…each item with it’s own reminders and deadlines. Without my lists, I would chase my tail in circles getting very little accomplished. But unfortunately, my ‘to do’s get in the way of my heart. And all to often, I look for my worth in my ability to get through my lists. My selfish pride is rooted in what I have accomplished that day.

However, I know deep in my heart that when I pass through the gates of heaven to meet Jesus, He’s NOT going to say, “Well done my good and faithful servant…you were so well organized, and you really tackled that ‘To Do’ list every day. Nice work.” No, that’s not what life is all about. I need to focus more on my ‘To Be’ list, my ‘To Feel’ list, my ‘To Love’ list.

I want to be gentle, patient and kind…even when I’m overwhelmed.
I want to feel empathetic and considerate…even when I’m rushed or busy.
I want to love the person who is in closest proximately to me…whether it’s my child getting in my personal space with sticky hands or the person in front of me in line at the grocery store (with a very large cart, multiple coupons and a checkbook.) I want to actively love my husband, my children, and my parents. Isn’t it ironic that sometimes it’s hardest to intentionally love those who we actually love the most?

Although, I know will not find my worth in being, feeling or loving either. I find my worth in being loved…not by my parents or my husband, my children or my friends. My worth is found in the deep love of God. My worth is felt in the presence of God, my anchor and my one true source of joy and abundant life. I was created with longings that cannot be satisfied, other than through experiencing the fullness of God.

In just a few quiet moments of intimidate presence with my God, I am allowing Him to work His ‘To Do’ list on me. -Make her more patient. -Make her more gentle. -Make her more loving. -Fill her with My joy.  …No doubt a reoccurring list that He delights in each day.

My ‘To Do’ list is certainly not the answer to an abundant life. I really, truly, want ‘to be’, ‘to feel’, and ‘to love’ more than I want ‘to do.’ But the first step is letting God do His thing.

“God’s presence is real, full of love, and completely transformational. It takes what was broken and brings healing. It takes what was lost and guides us to our rightful place in the Father. It satisfies the weary, brings light to the darkness, and pours out the refreshing rain of God’s love on the driest, deepest parts of the soul.” Craig Denison, First 15.

So, for me it’s resolution time. Because less is more in so many ways. Less leaves space to be, to feel, and to love.


“…Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:1-2
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Re: Lent

In regard to Lent…
If you use e-mail to operate the logistics of your work and life, you surely see ‘Re:’ in your inbox daily. ‘Re,’ of course, means ‘in regard to.’  ‘Re:’ signals that someone has replied to an original message.

In a Lenten devotional (The Beauty of Weakness: A Walk Toward Easter) provided by our church, Christ Community Leawood, I keep coming across the theme of ‘Re.’

I am reminded by our pastoral staff that Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter) is a season of reflection and renewal…a time to slow down and take a look at my life and my spiritual walk. A season to identify sins that hinder and recalibrate my habits in a way that leads to a deeper dependence on God.

Christians often use the days of Lent to fast from something significant in their life. This self-denial may come in the form of giving up anything from chocolate to caffeine to social media – or maybe even a more poignant sacrifice. The overall point of this personal sacrifice, according to Associate Pastor Jordan Green, is to “loosen our attachment and recalibrate our contentment.” Jordan writes that by denying our own strength or pleasure, “we might more clearly know the sustaining work of our Lord.”

As we have begun the annual observance of Lent, it is wise to take this opportunity to respond to an original message ourselves. We respond to the message of God’s unfailing and steadfast love – the very same love that Moses and the Israelites sang of thousands of years ago after their miraculous exodus through the parted Red Sea.

“…Who is like you — majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? …In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them…” Exodus 15: 11,13

We respond to the message of this same God who who kept covenant and steadfast love to a thousand generations (Deuteronomy 7:9) and sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to die on our behalf because he so loved the world. (John 3:16)

So how are you using this season to respond to God’s original message of love?

It’s no coincidence that so many of the themes of lent start with the prefix, ‘re.’ Dictionary.com tell us that ‘re’ is, “a prefix…with the meaning “again” or “again and again” to indicate repetition, or with the meaning “back” or “backward” to indicate withdrawal or backward motion.”

Each year during Lent, as we withdraw, quiet our hearts, and break our regular routine, we are invited to reflect, again. We are invited to repent, again. We are invited to recalibrate, again. We are invited to renew ourselves, again. As a matter of fact, our God of love and amazing grace invites us into renewal every day of the year, not only during Lent.

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:4-5

‘In regard to’ Lent, will you respond to God’s original message of love through the disciplines of reflection, repentance, and recalibration? There’s no better place to start than in Scripture and through prayer. On Easter Sunday, let us celebrate the Risen Lord our Savior with a renewed heart, mind, and spirit.

Bracing for Impact?

Bracing for Impact

It’s the first week of summer break. Like many mamas, I’m taking it a little slower this week…relishing in the fact that no lunches need to be packed…there’s no morning bell to beat…no spelling words to study.

But at the same time, as summer has been approaching, I have been bracing for impact. Summer will bring a lot more…quality?…time at home with my kiddos.  Each summer gets less and less exhausting as the kids are getting older.  But, I know there will be bickering, there will be yelling, and there will be tears.  I just hope its not mostly from me.

Whatever this summer holds for any of us…whether its lots more time at home with the kids, a more stressful routine of balancing kids and work, difficult relationships, or even bigger transitions looming in the Fall –  there will be joys, pains, and challenges.  More often than not, we feel ourselves bracing for impact.

But I am reminded of God’s greatest desires for us…

“Don’t let the impact of the world shatter your thinking or draw you away from focusing on Me.” Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, May 22.

The great God of the Universe wants us to put our focus on Him, to seek His face, feel his deep love, and be still in His presence as we face each new day.

“God’s presence is real, full of love, and completely transformational. It takes what was broken and brings healing. It takes what was lost and guides us to our rightful place in the Father. It satisfies the weary, brings light to the darkness, and pours out the refreshing rain of God’s love on the dryest, deepest parts of the soul…He longs to make the reality of his presence known to you. He longs to refresh you with his nearness” Craig Denison, First 15, May 18

I love the concept of ‘making space’ for God.  I was recently taught that even when we use God’s gifts to capacity, we are called to still hold space for God.  Without making time to focus on God each day, the impact of the world (and the little people whom I love so much) will no doubt bring out the worst in me. My goal this summer is to make space for God.  Rather than bracing for impact, I want to feel His loving embrace.

“The absolute, most important single act of the children of God is making space to encounter our heavenly Father in the secret place…It establishes roots which enable us to receive all that we need to bear the fruit of the Spirit.” Denison, First15 May 22

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.  These are the fruits of the Spirit.  These particular virtues have been on my heart for a few years now.  Perhaps because they are ideal virtues to teach our little ones…Perhaps, because they are ideal virtues for us as adults in a broken world.

I struggle.sooo.much to be patient and gentle with my children.

John 15:7-8 says “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you…By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” 

Will you join me in planting seeds as we head into summer? The fruits of the Spirit have already been gifted to us.  But we must nurture them to see growth. For me, it’s only by making space for God and watering the dryest parts of my soul.  Then, we pour out our love to the world around us. Now that’s worthwhile impact.

Wait Right There…


These days, if I like a song, I download it immediately. There’s no waiting to go to the mall to buy the cd. We watch shows on DVR or On Demand. If I’m ordering an item online, two days seems like a reasonable delivery time…any longer of a wait is quite pesky. If I miss a loved one, I can instantaneously exchange words via text or even Facetime. I am quite thankful for these wonderful technologies that make life easy and on-demand. But, my need for instant gratification is only being fed more and more. Instant gratification rules the lives of my children. We don’t have to wait long for much of anything anymore. But waiting is good for the soul. Waiting builds anticipation and increases appreciation.

Advent is a precious season of expectant waiting – a time ripe for longing for a God who was made man, in the form of a helpless babe. In the sixth month of her pregnancy, the Angel Gabriel appeared to young Mary and told her that she was pregnant with the Son of the Most High. Can you even imagine what those last three months of her pregnancy must have felt like as she waited for this mysterious God-Child? What would the God-Baby look like? How can God even become human? She must have worried about how she could ever live up to expectations as His mother?! Then, Jesus was born. Shepherds and Wise Men (Magi) visited. They spread the word that, truly, the Savior…the Messiah…the Lord had been born to an unwed virgin in a manger. No pressure, Mary – you just have to raise this God-Child to adulthood.

Then, thirty plus years pass as she waits to see how her son, the Son of God, is going to be a Savior. Oh my, can you imagine the waiting? Do you think she ever nagged him? “Jesus, it’s wonderful you are a carpenter like your dad and all, but aren’t you ready to step it up? You’re almost thirty now.” I can’t imagine her wait, her anticipation.

Each Advent, we have the opportunity to wait. We wait for the celebration of the birth of Christ. I was recently struck by this particular version of “O Come Emmanuel” by Allen Levi, Ed Cash, and Bebo Norman that I have loved for almost twenty years now. The lyrics and the slow, almost hopefully somber tune capture our desperate need and hopeful expectation for the arrival of our Lord – Emmanuel, God with us. This hopeful waiting captures the essence of Advent.

“Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel.”

And even though we are still waiting during advent, we sing:

 “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel. Shall come to you, O Israel!”

In this first week of advent two thousand and sixteen years after Christ was born, we still wait. Because waiting is good for the soul. Yet we also rejoice; for the Light of the World has come to shatter the darkness. I think I might wait until Christmas Day to belt out this fabulous version “Joy to the World” this year. It’s going to feel good. Because some things are just worth waiting for.

We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you. –Psalm 33:20-22

*You can download these beautiful versions of “Oh, Come Emmanuel” and “Joy to the World” on iTunes here.

Double Down


Five years ago this week, Ryan and I doubled down. Our twins were born on 11-1-11. It wasn’t exactly a gamble on our part, but there was plenty of uncertainty to go around. We had no idea what to expect.

To be honest, if God had approached me before I got pregnant (which He didn’t) and offered me twins, I’m quite sure I would have said, “Oh, wow, that’s so nice of you to offer.” (Gotta be polite, right?!) “But I’m much more comfortable with the idea of three children. We don’t want to have four…never even considered the possibility. So, thanks, God, but no thanks.” To think that in my desire to stick in our comfort zone, I would have actually passed up such an amazing blessing. The real gamble is when we don’t put our trust in God’s plans.

But, still, uncertainty is very uncomfortable isn’t it?!

Being up in the middle of the night with two babies who didn’t sleep at the same time was uncomfortable. Doubling down definitely more than doubled the chaos and tears around our house. I couldn’t have imagined the messes, the exhaustion, or my ability to hit peaks of anger I had never seen in myself before. (And of course, I couldn’t have grasped the joys that lay ahead either.)

Most days, life feels just outside of my control. And that is just the way God wants it to be. Instead of mastering our lives and our days, God asks us to submit to the One and Only Master. EVERY day, I lose my patience. I struggle with yelling at my children. To put it simply, my kids often drive me batshit crazy (sorry).

I am not in control. I misplace my priorities regularly. I make mistakes every day.  Get this…yesterday I washed two mini iPads in the washing machine with the laundry. I kid you not. I cried. Does that sound like a mother who has everything under control?

Control is really just an illusion. For me, control is even an idol. I’m learning, very slowly, that lack of control and a bit of uncertainty in our lives is not bad.

“Our natural inclination is to be so precise– trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next– that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (April 29)

Chambers goes on to explain that the nature of a healthy spiritual life is to be “certain in our uncertainty.” Despite the fact that we are uncertain of what tomorrow may bring, we have peace in our “gracious uncertainty” because we are certain of our God.

If faith is having confidence in what we cannot see, then we must double down in the face of uncertainty. I love how Stefani Gretzinger sings in “Out of Hiding” of God’s promise to be our “lighthouse when we are at sea.” When we lean hard into this faithful God, His love beyond measure brings comfort that no amount of certainty will ever bring.

There will continue to be uncertainty ahead. There will be many dark days in all of our lives. There will be days where any sense of control has simply gone out the window.

Again, I am encouraged by music. Chris Tomlin sings of our “Good Good Father” and reminds us that our God knows what we need before we say a word. He is perfect in all of His ways. And on those hardest of days, I pray that I will listen for His tender whisper and rest in knowing that I am loved by Him. It’s who I am.


“Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in– but you can be certain that He will come.” Oswald Chambers

Rest in Peace…This Summer?


Perhaps one of the most common acronyms in the English language, ‘R.I.P.’ evokes memories of loved ones lost, eulogies for famous musicians on Facebook, and even corny yard decorations at Halloween. This condolence and outward expression of our inner sorrow and grief wishes a peaceful eternity to those whom we have loved and lost. The original Latin phrase, “requiescat in pace,” means “may he or she rest in peace.”

So, is it a given that you have to die to truly rest in peace?

In my crazy, loud, messy, chaotic household, I have asked myself this question…especially on this first week of summer break! Peace and quiet are a commodity around here. And then there’s the real anxiety and worry. What would I do if I ever lost my husband? Could I handle the death of a child? Am I a good enough wife and mother? Do people like me? Everyday stresses of work and finances alone cause unrest in most households, ours included.

In a recent sermon at Christ Community Church, Pastor Tom Nelson expressed that our cultural landscape is well described as ‘restless.’ No amount of massages, date nights sans kids or vacations will ever bring us true rest and peace. Anxiety and restlessness creep into our moments of quiet and erupt in the middle of our chaos.

Tom noted that even the Huff Post has addressed the subject. In an article titled, “5 Signs You’re Restless With Your Life (and What to Do About It),” Kevin Klatches writes that if you are feeling restless, you should “consider it a warning sign from your soul to take action.” He suggests, “Don’t settle for restlessness…The universe is calling on you to take action. Listen to it.”

He’s so right. The universe is calling on us to take action. The Creator of the Universe gently calls to us…

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke…and you will find rest for your souls.” -Matthew 11: 28-29

Are you living with a restless heart? Is there an unsettling discontent or anxiety that marks your life? Do you feel emotionally and spiritually weary?

In his book, The Life We Long to Live: the yoke, Tom Nelson warns us that “…our thirsty souls are chasing mirages…” We hang out in the desert while the One who offers streams of healing waters bids us to come.

Isaiah 58:11 promises, “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

My only hope for a rested soul is when I seek the transforming presence of God regularly…when I open my heart and let Him meet me where I am – often tired, weary and anxious.

This summer, whether we find ourselves in a sun-scorched land or a pool of anxiety, may we hear the Creator of the Universe beckoning, “Be still and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10.

Because we don’t have to die to rest in peace.


*This song, Come To Me, by Bethel Music is worth a listen at least once, maybe a hundred times…

“…I am the Lord your peace…
Steady now your heart and mind
Come into my rest…
And lift up your weary head
I am with you
Wherever you go

Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m everything…”

Heart Health

Heart Health

Valentines Day has come and gone. I got my chocolates and a sincere and loving card from my husband. These two items confirm what I know…He loves me deeply, and he knows that I love chocolate deeply. I can only hope that my card to him expressed my love adequately…and also that he will give me some of his chocolate.

My words might adequately express my love, but my actions certainly don’t always express my love. I am often curt and, frankly, just plain exhausted. Sometimes, my exhaustion turns both my heart and emotions to a hard shell…much like that on the chocolate candies. So, quite often, I need to stop, assess the condition of my heart, and simply soften up. I need to ask myself, “How am I nurturing my heart health?”

In a recent sermon at Christ Community Church, our pastor, Tom Nelson, reminded us that we must regularly check the condition of our hearts. The American Heart Association has deemed February to be American Heart Month. According to the American Heart Association, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. As we all know, regular exercise and a good diet are the first steps towards a healthy heart. Tom drew a similar conclusion as he encouraged us to take notice of the spiritual condition of our hearts.

Just like with physical health, our emotional and spiritual health are also dependent on regular exercise and a good diet. Our pastor reminded me that we must discipline ourselves to actively seek a good diet and exercise of spiritual disciplines…such as prayer, meditation and study of scripture.

Pastor Tom also noted two specific heart killers – a worried spirit and a hurried spirit. Those two traits have the potential to put me in critical condition, daily. So, I ask you…When were you hurried today? What worried you today?

Tom shared that worry keeps us from moving forward in a life with vitality and joy. A life characterized by worry is not the good life God intends for us.  I am certainly not implying that there isn’t an appropriate place for deep concern or lament in our lives. But for a healthy heart, we must genuinely hand over our fears and anxiety to God and seek His supernatural peace that transcends all understanding.  It sounds crazy, but it’s real.

And for a healthy heart, my goodness, we must absolutely slow down and take time to be still. That’s my kind of exercise! It’s difficult to love the people around us when we can’t slow down enough to feel their needs.  And it’s hard to truly be in anyone’s presence if we are always in a hurry.

Join me as I assess the condition of my heart. Can I truly love the people around me if my heart is not well?

I think most people would choose to live for love. It feels good to love others. I know most people have an insatiable desire to be fully loved. I do. But all of the affection, all of the praise, all of the security in the world is not enough. The love of this world doesn’t quite fulfill and doesn’t give us the ability to love back. We must seek God for that complete fulfillment. His love is perfect and limitless.

My healthy heart goal is to live for love…

“It’s to choose to root yourself in the unconditional affection of your heavenly Father rather than seeking fulfillment from the fickle love of mankind. It’s to choose to serve and give rather than looking to receive from a world that has so little to offer. To live for love is to seek first God and his ways and thereby receive the fullness of life only he can give…It is impossible to live for love as Jesus commands unless we first receive daily the perfect, powerful love of our heavenly Father.” -Craig Denison, First 15

How’s your heart health?


“…You’ve got your reasons
But I hold your peace
You’ve been on lockdown
And I hold the key…

…I’ll be your lighthouse
When you’re lost at sea
And I will illuminate

No need to be frightened 
By intimacy
No, just throw off your fear
And come running to Me

‘Cause I loved you before you knew it was love…” 

-CLICK HERE to hear “Out of Hiding” by Steffany Gretzinger, Bethel Music