God Redeems Life’s Wreckage

When life reels out of control and the wreckage is overwhelming, where do you turn? 

September 10th is a big day at my house. It’s the day my husband Craig’s plane was discovered after being missing for weeks. Our hope and prayer was that both Craig and the plane would be recovered safely and intact, but that wasn’t what we found.

A pilot error, a thunderstorm, and a dark mountain created a trifecta of disaster. After an exhaustive search by the FAA, State Police, Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol and NASA, Craig was finally discovered inside the crumpled aircraft wreckage where he’d obviously been killed on impact.

What do you do with that kind of news? Where do you turn for answers? 

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Do You Trust God With The Impossible?

How good are you at trusting God with what’s on your heart and mind but out of your control?

Do you trust God with the impossible or do you fuss and squawk until there’s nothing you can do to make a difference and then slump into despair and worry? 

My son, Eli, graduates from bootcamp this week. It seems like only yesterday that he was toddling around the house in diapers. The years float by leaving a residue of precious memories to mark high state occasions. The first step. Every first day of school. Passing his drivers test. Watching him play football. High School graduation. His first job as a firefighter.

Each marker took Eli further and further beyond my ability to protect him. Joining the Air Force Reserves marked the final transition of my role from guardian to worrier, I mean warrior … of prayer.

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What’s Your Heart Condition?

Did you know I have a heart condition? Don’t be alarmed. We all do.  

When our hearts are out of sync with God’s best for us, He will reveal it to you in the most inventive ways.

I knocked lightly and popped my head in Jake’s room to say goodnight. His room was a disaster area. Stacks of magazines, motorcycle paraphernalia, and a week’s worth of socks and underwear covered the floor. He had one little bitty space on his huge desk that wasn’t covered with paper or doodads or books. The bed was disheveled and the window blinds were all catawampus.

How could a kid whose brain organized data to get straight As in engineering live in this chaos?

When his face met mine, he wasn’t smiling. “Mom, got a minute to talk?”
“Sure,” I said. “Want to come downstairs?”
“Can you just come in here?”

I hesitated. See, I am not messy. My spices are alphabetized. My closet is color organized by sleeve length. The coins in my car are heads up, facing the windshield. I can tell you what’s going to be for dinner a week from Tuesday. Being in his room makes my brain freeze and my hands twitch.

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Is God Enough?

When you search for meaning in trials and demand a reason for difficulties, the question we ask is, “Why is this happening?” 

The question you need to answer is, “Is God enough?”

When life is hard and plans change, when futures seem forfeit, and life shifts unexpectedly, the question you have to settle is, “Is God enough?”

In the time before YouTube and Food Network, before Google was a noun and a verb, we used to find things to make for dinner in thick-paged volumes filled with ideas to bring tasty nutrition to the table.

These volumes were called cookbooks.

Frustrated by the time-consuming effort to make dinnertime both flavorful and healthy, my friend Jennifer bought herself a new cookbook called “Once a Month Cooking. The cookbook detailed how to prep thirty entrees in one day, freeze them, and use them throughout the month. Jen’s plan was to double everything, make sixty meals, and split the bounty between us.

Jennifer thought it was genius. I thought it was harebrained.

Until I tried it.

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Holding Onto Your Past Creates Problems For Your Future

Are you holding onto your past?
Take a lesson from me, and jettison the junk.

 

 

I spent a good chunk of yesterday cleaning out the “toy closet.”

I haven’t had children at home for years.
Deep sigh …
followed by a leap for joy!
(Don’t judge, I am happy to have healthy, thriving, gainfully employed boys who’ve grown into men.)

I’m reclaiming all the real estate in my house previously dedicated to storing their paraphernalia.
I will no longer keep art projects from grade school,

football cleats from high school or dental models of lost retainers.

Yesterday, I cleared the last bastion of their territory … the toy closet.
Toys spanning the decades spilled out to be sorted and bagged up

in preparation of their move to someone else’s home.

Candyland, all the chess boards and the Monopoly game … out.
Beanie Babies, action figures and matchbox cars … out.
Glitter pens, coloring books and the potholder loom …  out.
Puzzles, sidewalk chalk and the abacus no one ever knew how to use … out!

Can I just tell you, it’s liberating.
I am giddy with glee!

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3 Ways to Renew Your Contentment

Do you ever have what my friend Lauren calls a MOMENT?
You know what I mean?
Everything is just “fine” and then you get triggered.

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 you had a travel moment when you had high expectations of
Swanky Suites but ended up at Bob’s Sleep Palace?

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

The MOMENT dissolved your contentment.

My MOMENT came at the Tax Guy’s office.
I thought we had a great year, but Tax Guy
suggested I find a “real job”.

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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The Best Medication for Turbulent Times

I surveyed the dark red, single engine airplane we stood in front of as I listened to my new husband say, “It’s absolutely ridiculous to own a vehicle you don’t know how to operate!”  

The airplane that now had my name on the title. The turbulence in my tummy was growing. I gulped. Visions of me soaring through the air filled my head … followed immediately by flashes of me crashing in a blaze of flames.

It seemed reasonable to know how to operate the radio. It even made sense to learn how to land the plane in an emergency, but to actually become a licensed pilot freaked me out.

“I don’t know,” I said. “It looks complicated.”
“It’s not hard at all. I’ll teach you.”

You can already tell this will go badly, can’t you?

There is truth in the old adage that a husband should not attempt to teach his wife to drive. Driving lessons are a lot cheaper than a divorce, but this isn’t a blog about marriage.

“Okay,” I said, more out of a desire to be cooperative than adventurous. “Let’s do it.”

Learning to fly an airplane was horribly hard for me; all the technical, weather-related, and directional stuff vexed me. To top it off, my own flying made me sick. The joggling and bouncing in the little plane while doing the training maneuvers made my stomach churn.

Dramamine was a lifesaver for me. I swallowed pieces of little yellow pills for the first forty hours of my training before I successfully completed my testing to become a licensed pilot.

Can I get a whoop! whoop!?

I’m still plagued by motion sickness if the air is turbulent or if the waves are rough. If the swings are tall or the carnival rides turn me upside down. You can tell me it’s all in my head but I am still hurling into an airsick bag.

While Dramamine commands my upset stomach to calm down,
it does nothing to change my circumstances.

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Are You More Like Mary Or Martha?

If you are more like Martha than Mary, I have good news! My friend, Katie M. Reid has just written a book called, “Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done”(which includes a 5-week bible study for individuals and groups). It comes out July 12, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek.

The Secret to a Good Soul Cleaning
By: Katie M. Reid

Modern Marthas don’t usually blow things off. They are conscientious and aim to please. We get A’s for effort, not E’s. We work to excel. We strive for perfection. We run as to win the prize. Even if we don’t get gold stars or gold medals, it isn’t for a lack of trying to offer our best.

If someone told me that all my efforts were in vain, I think I might cry (or get ticked, or be tempted to give up…depending on my mood or time of the month). Daily, my brain works overtime, trying to solve problems, tackle schedules, and successfully manage all that is on my plate.

The Army slogan, “Be all that you can be,” was a favorite of mine, and I lived it. Until, I tried so hard to be all and do all that I set myself up for failure. I kept trying to be an acceptable sacrifice. The problem was, I was trying to purify and holy-ify myself to be pleasing in God’s sight and the eyes of most everyone else too.

The duties of being a good Christian started to become drudgery as I tried to perform flawlessly.

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Can Too Much Togetherness Lead To Turmoil?

Is there such a thing as too much togetherness?

Dave and I just got back from a conference in Toronto, Canada. We were TOGETHER for six days. Joined at the hip together!
In the car.
In the hotel room.

At the conference.
Eating.
Sleeping.

Driving.
Learning.
Ministering … together! 

It was great, but I have to admit, I was happy to be home and get back into my routines. To have a little “me” time. You know what I mean, don’t you?

This morning (first day home) while I was having my quiet time, Dave came in and said, “Oh, good morning! Let me get my coffee and sit right next to you. We haven’t spent any down time together for a while.” 

Honestly, at first I thought, “Arrgh, I do not have time for a meandering conversation or meaningful togetherness right now! I have to unpack, do laundry, take a friend in for a colonoscopy, pick up something for dinner, write my Journey to Trust girls to see how they are doing with their studies, finish my blog and make a dessert for tomorrow night! I do not have any more time for you!” 

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Who’s Your Good Daddy?

It’s Father’s Day and I hope you have a man in your life worthy of celebrating. A father who loves and protects you. A husband who partners and parents with you in life and ministry. A spiritual guy who guides you with wisdom.

I hope your day is full of BBQs and fire pit conversations. I hope you laugh about silly stories and old memories. If that’s true for you, celebrate that man well today. Buy the coffee cup that says #1 Dad and spend time together.

The ugly truth is that many women do not have a good father figure in their life.

Broken homes lead to broken hearts, and
broken hearts lead to broken lives.

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