Where Is God When You Need Him?

Are you in the wilderness?

Are you in a season of wondering if God cares about you or even sees you? Does it seem like He led you into a wilderness and forgot where he left you?

I feel like that a lot whenever I launch a new series of talks, a service, or book. I have a “moment” or two when it feels like I might have misread the signals God sent. That I am all alone and forgotten. That I will die out here in the wilderness.

Then God shows up in some extravagant way to reassure me that I am not forgotten at all. That’s what happened when Almida said she had a present for me. 

I need to tell you Almida is an interesting woman. Her wisdom, life experiences and prayers have been my life line for decades. Russian by birth, she escaped the Nazis by walking across Europe only to live in a refuge camp for months before getting a sponsor in the US. She made a living as a tailor until she married an entrepreneur who made a boatload of money as a building developer. Her husband, Willy, died at 41 in a plane crash leaving her devastated. Her grief was compounded when Willy’s business partner bankrupted the business, depleting her resources and retirement.

Almida is now 87, and resides in an assisted living facility. The pain in her hip is her constant companion, making an outing to any store a major ordeal. She’s frugal by necessity and was never a big believer in “good behavior” gifts. It wasn’t my birthday and Christmas was long gone, so I couldn’t imagine what gift she might have for me.

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Perfection is an Evil Taskmaster

Does perfection impede your progress and alienate you from others?

I used to work in an office with Griselda* who knew everything about everything. She scrutinized every single phone conversation I had, every document I created and every chart I filed – for my own good and the good of the office, of course.

And she didn’t just “supervise” her co-workers. One day, a single mom with two little kids came into the office. While the mom was doing her business, the children got curious and noisy in the waiting area. From her desk, Griselda sternly chastised them into cowering submission, mortifying the mom and the rest of us onlookers.

The cost of perfectionism.

I’m all about doing your best, but when perfection is the taskmaster, and you can’t measure up, it sucks the want-to right out of you. Being told by someone else (or yourself) you need to be perfect wears you out and keeps you from experiencing new things and new people. 

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Does Striving For Perfection Drive You Bananas?

Going Bananas

Early in our marriage, Mr. 4-Ever made the mistake of mentioning how much he enjoyed another woman’s banana bread. Not to be outdone, I took it upon myself to make his life complete by creating my own perfect loaf of banana bread. I tried a dozen recipes, but none of them turned out well.

We ate a lot of really mediocre banana bread and threw an obscene amount of banana bread in the trash. No matter what I did, I could not get the bread to come out right.

I cried. I whined. I obsessed.

Finally, Dave told me that his appetite for banana bread had waned. He said as nicely as he could that my insane pursuit of perfecting banana bread was done and I needed to quit wasting my time and our money. 

Perfection steals your joy and your time!

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What Confession Is Good for Your Soul?

Sin is sneaky!

My son, Eli and I were at the Krispy Kreme drive-though, coupon in hand. We were moments away from warm, frosted donuts, but something was wrong with the coupon I was trying to use. I wanted chocolate frosted but the coupon was for glazed. I put up quite a fuss to get my donuts at a discount and succeeded.

Pulling away victorious, donuts in hand, my boy looked at me and said, “Mom, you were really mean to that lady.”

OUCH!  I sure was.

“Son, you are so right. Will you forgive me for talking to her like that?”
“Sure, mama, … can I have a donut?”

As he ate his circle of deliciousness, I silently asked God to forgive me for modeling behavior I would never tolerate from the young man next to me.  I thought that was done, but Holy Spirit laid his hand on my heart, prompting me to return and apologize to the girl at the Krispy Kreme.

With the store already disappearing in my rear view mirror and using the traffic zipping by at breakneck speeds, I justified why I couldn’t go back.

Holy Spirit wasn’t having any of it. For three days, He kept the pressure on till I couldn’t stand it anymore.

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3 Steps To Contentment

Do you ever have what my friend Lauren calls a MOMENT?

You know what I mean? Everything is just “fine” and then something hits you sideways and you have a MOMENT. Maybe you had a Facebook moment when you saw that you weren’t included in a party or conversation or outing. Maybe you had a home improvement moment as you watched all the options HGTV had to offer. Maybe you had a Pinterest moment when you tried your best to recreate the image on your computer screen and it was an unrecognizable failure.

Maybe it was your car, your house, your kids, your boss, your husband, your scale, or your mirror … and you just had a MOMENT! The MOMENT dissolved your contentment.

My most recent moment. 

My MOMENT came at the Tax Guy’s office. As he looked over all my documents, his mouth tightened into a disapproving grimace. “Robyn, I know this God thing is important to you, but I have to tell you that at your age, you should be thinking about your future. You need to get a real job.”

Ugh.

I explained how faithful God continues to be and even though the numbers may not show it, I am experiencing his peace and pleasure as I partner with him to proclaim Jesus’ name and teach the Bible from coast to coast.

Don’t let this happen to you!

As I left his office, my Contentment asked my Confidence for a date and they took off for parts unknown. The evil twins, Discouragement and Dissatisfaction, moved in to take their place.

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Good or Bad – Your Habits Yield Powerful Results

Good or bad, habits yield powerful results when practiced.

When my boys were teenagers, they turned into eating machines. My baking dishes and freezer meal containers got bigger and bigger.

One night, I opened the refrigerator to take out the prepped meal for that evening, and I could see that a large scoop of the casserole was missing. I smoothed the contents to fill in the divot, popped it in the oven and waited. Sure enough, the guilty party asked, “Is this the same stuff that was in the fridge earlier?”
“Yes it is, Son. Why do you ask?”
“It tastes different,” he said.
“That’s because it’s cooked now!” I snarked back at him.

To protect them from salmonella poisoning and to preserve enough food to feed the entire family at mealtime, I started putting NO-NO post-it stickies on anything in the refrigerator that was off limits.

Uncooked food …
NO-NO!

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30 Day Goals Are Better Than New Year Resolutions

Chances are that if you made a New Year’s resolution, it’s already been compromised. Let’s face it, New Year’s resolutions don’t work for the vast majority of us.

Case in point, remember last month when everyone was smiling and cheerful and generous? And then New Year’s came and coasting on all those good holiday feelings, we made resolutions to lose 10,000 pounds and get out of debt, start exercising, stop being snarky and stay in touch with friends and family better … and then … we didn’t do any of it. 

Girlfriend, I’ll be honest, I run out of rockets fast. Setting goals for an entire year overwhelms me.

This year I’m trying something different. I’m setting 30 day goals. I can manage, tolerate or endure almost anything if I know it’s only for 30 days. Can’t you?

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Would You Settle For Less Than God’s Best?


I met a woman I’ll call Regina at an event where I was teaching women how to know they are worthy of great love and why they should never settle for less than God’s very best for them. 

Regina told me she’d come out of a life of drugs, alcohol and abuse. For a long time she didn’t love herself – couldn’t love herself. 

You know the voices. Too late. Too much baggage. Too much damage. 

As a result, she tried to find love from men who took advantage of her. When that didn’t work, she covered the pain of rejection and abuse with drugs and alcohol. Substance abuse made her more vulnerable to being used by men which made her feel worse, so she used more drugs and the cycle perpetuated itself. 

Finally, she got sober, found Jesus and cleaned her life up. But without anyone to teach her or disciple her, her desire to be good led her to settle into a compliant obedience instead of a becoming a fervent follower of Jesus. 

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Is God Your King or Your Body Guard?

 

 

A couple weeks ago, I was speaking at a retreat and I told the story of when I was saved by Jesus. 

My boyfriend had taken me to a Christmas program when I received the good news that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who died to pay for my sins and rose from the dead after 3 days in the grave. That because he was raised from the dead, I could be, too.  

That was good news! So I took out a get out of hell insurance policy and got saved.

I was saved ……… but I wasn’t surrendered. I wanted a Savior, but I didn’t want a King. I wanted to rule my own life.

I proceeded to treat God as a body guard. God was to stay out of my way unless my life was in imminent peril, then he had my permission to toss around a lightening bolt or two to save my life.

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Do You Fall For This Lie?

Do you find yourself isolated because you believe the lie that you’re not worthy of help? 

A woman I’ll call Milly went through a season of utter yuck. As a woman of faith, she dutifully went to church but didn’t want to bother anyone with her troubles. (sound familiar?) Thinking that she could will her way back to wholeness, she ended up isolating herself.

When asked how she was doing, she said she was fine.But without anyone to speak life into her, she sank deeper and deeper into loneliness and despair.

Then she heard me talk at a retreat about how the enemy needed her to stay on the fringe of community so he would be the only voice in her head. About how trying to do life on your own is not the way God intended us to live.

It was like a light bulb went off in her head.

She realized that she’d been schnookered into believing that she was an imposition. A burden. Unworthy.

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