Purposeful Faith

Category - Speaking Truth

How to Transform Ugly to Lovely

Death and life are in the power of the tongue Proverbs 18:21

Post By: Katie M. Reid

Last week my husband and I directed Vacation Bible School (VBS) for our church. The theme was “Ocean Commotion” and there was a lot of commotion in our home as we prepared for this program. I decided to wear my loud LuLaRoe leggings—yellow, turquoise, brown, and orange splattered, a bold flowing top, and my feather earrings to help support the theme.

There was so much to do to prepare for opening night of VBS. When I feel stressed, I bark out orders to the family, expecting them to hop-to and meet my demands. It isn’t pretty.

As I walked down our hallway, I informed Sunshine-headed son that he better start emptying the dishwasher. Usually this reminder is met with resistance and sighing but this time was different.

“You look beautiful, Mom!” my son declared with enthusiasm.

I had wondered if my outfit was a bit much, but my son’s unexpected compliment reassured me that I had made the right wardrobe selection. I smiled and my countenance lifted.

Later on, as we were frantically getting ready to head to the church to decorate for VBS, I told my daughter to go get her toddler brother’s shoes on so we could get out the door and “Hurry up, we need to leave soon!”

“Mom, I love your outfit. You look beautiful!” she cooed.

Once again I was stopped in my tracks. Darling daughter’s words of affirmation gave me a burst of joy. Her adoration transformed my frustrated tone, if but momentarily, as I held my head a little higher.

My kids were being so nice to me when I was being bossy.

Then I heard my tween daughter whisper to my husband, “When Mom is in a bad mood, we decided to give her a compliment and tell her that she looks beautiful.”

“Hey, I heard that! ” I called out from the bathroom.

So, that’s why they were bathing me with compliments. They were trying to transform my irritation and see if that would help me get off their backs about cleaning and doing chores.

It was working.

They turned ugly to lovely by responding in love to my meanness. Okay, they were being a bit manipulative and trying to get out of work, but their experimental tactic was quite genius.

With each compliment, I felt uplifted. My demeanor changed as they met my demands with a verbal blessing.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all there was to get done, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that they were being so nice. They heaped burning coals of love upon my head as they issued the unexpected.

My kids social experiment convicted me of my negativity and also inspired me to try it out.

What if I respond kindly to others when they are mean instead of pouting about it?

What if I issue grace instead of offense when I get my feelings hurt?

What if I compliment those I’m frustrated with instead of complaining to their face
(or behind their back)?

Could it be that we can transform ugly to lovely by reminding others of the beauty we see in them?

Let’s give it a try.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” -Proverbs 18:21

Dear God:

Thank You for saving us from sin. Thank You for dying on the cross and then rising again, that we might live for Your purposes, now and in the life to come. Thank You for taking what is broken and making it beautiful. Thank You for transforming our ugly into lovely. Forgive us for hurting others with careless words. Help us to reflect Your unconditional love with the way we respond to others. May we care for others with the strength You provide, by the leading of Your Spirit, and out of our commitment to doing things Your way—even when it’s hard. Thank You for Your Word and that we can be transformed by it. Give us a desire to know and apply Your Truth, that we might truly live—radiant and free.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Author & Speaker Katie M. Reid image by Adopting Nations

Katie M. Reid is a tightly wound woman, of the recovering perfectionist variety, who fumbles to receive and extend grace in everyday moments. She delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in ministry. Through her writing, singing, speaking and photography Katie encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Twitter and Facebook.


That’s “Nacky”

Do you have a funny word you embrace in your home that is totally understood by everyone under your roof, coined by a toddler?

When my sons were babies they called my daughter Maggie, “Yaya.”  We still call her this.

My cousin called underwear “O-di-os.” And we rarely say underwear, they are O-di-os.

And it spans the generations. My husband’s family still teases about getting your “baby-soup” on so we can go swimming, a term my husband used as a toddler.

I am 44-years-old, and my family still calls washcloths hoffcloths.” I have never lived down that which I said… when I was two.

Our oldest son John called spoons “Mooshes” and nasty “Nacky.” At our youngest son’s 1st birthday the 3-year-old John was exasperated by his baby brother’s “nacky” face after he ate cake with his hands instead of with a “moosh.”

These word oddities are habits, often we must correct ourselves in public as the nonsense isn’t appropriate outside the clique of family.

Recently one of our kids made a mistake, he was mortified. The man-child went on a rant about his foolishness. I consoled him and encouraged.  He couldn’t get past his folly and berated himself ruthlessly.

It broke my heart to him speak so harshly of himself. I rubbed his shoulder and mused, “Oh you are just being NACKY! Stop!”

He softened a bit and rolled his eyes.  At 6’3” with a full beard, I am certain he wishes he could break away from the baby talk.

A couple days later I had to get on the scale at the doctor’s office.


My encounter with too many “Mooshes” was making my “O-di-os” too tight and my body was not ready for “baby-soup” season.

I grumbled at myself – disgust.

I mumbled ugliness about my lack of self-control and my disdain for my current state.

I blew my nose and wiped some tears and heard a familiar, still voice from deep within.

“That’s nacky.”

And I knew the voice.

And I knew the term.

And I knew the voice meant my critical assault on self, not the size of my hiney.

I was being “nacky.”

And more than tears over my current physical struggles, I was slain by a wave of love from my Heavenly Father. 

I was reminded that “nacky” feeling I had when my son was hating on himself for making a mistake. A mistake that could be remedied. A mistake that was done without malice, simply an earthly mistake. In an instant I was in unison with my Lord and all the ways, He parents me.

He wanted me to ease up. He wanted me to turn to Him and talk, ask for help, and then let go.  And no, not let go and continue to not care for myself, His daughter. But to stop haranguing myself with “nacky” self-hatred.

Just like the horribleness I felt when my child was so unforgiving with his folly, God opened my eyes to the parallels of my punitive words.

His gentleness continues to move me. A good Father, encourager, and devoted parent who craves a chance to nurture and love on me.  He died that I might have amity with this life. His spirit lingers, whispering tender love and peaceable direction.

His love is perfect.

His parenting flawless.

He is completely void of nackiness….

 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  –1 John 3:1

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami


Who You Are In the Light

identity who you are in the light

Post By: Angela Parlin

Do you know who you really are?

A friend told me recently that her Mom used to have her stand in front of the mirror and recite truths about who God says she is. Isn’t that great? I’ll save it in my parenting toolbox, but the truth is, I’ve needed it myself.

Not long ago, I knew certain facts regarding who God says I am—but I didn’t feel like they were true.

Have you been there?

There’s an identity crisis, within the church. It begins with our understanding of God, and our understanding of who we are in light of Him.

We can name details about God, but do we really know Him?

And if we don’t KNOW the God who created us,
then how do we know our own selves?

I grew up in the church, so I learned numerous truths about God and about myself through the years. I also live in a world where I heard an abundance of lies about us both. There were those labels people gave me, those labels I gave myself, and the experiences that told me things I couldn’t forget.

But more often, I was oblivious to what was going on around me. The world and the devil did their thing, and I failed to see the false and fiery arrows shot my way.

While my foundation was forming,
the enemy worked to confuse my identity.

I didn’t know deep down in my heart who I really was–because of Jesus Christ. I didn’t live confidently out of the truth.

When you don’t have a firm grasp on who you are in God’s eyes (your identity in Christ)—
start with who God is.

Find Him in the quiet. Seek Him through His Word. Get to know Him more.

Meditate on who God is. Focus on who He says you are.

Look to the Word–not to the world–for daily affirmations.

Let Him change your view of Him and your view of you.

Let Him set you free from the lies that hold you down.

In time, God will transform your mind completely, giving you a whole new view.

You will understand who God is and who you are in light of Him.

May these scriptures be a starting place, pointing the way to the truth.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him. Psalm 28:7

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4

Before I was born, the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb He has spoken my name. Isaiah 49:1b

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me.” Genesis 16:13a

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

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Angela Parlin

Angela Parlin is Dan’s wife and Mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her each week at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty in All This Chaos.


Some Things Are Meant For Unfolding

Unfolding God's Word light

Post By: Angela Parlin

We’ve been working on folding shirts a new way, in my two younger kids’ rooms, because the old way, Mom’s way, was not working.

Our new fold is really a cross between rolling and folding. Instead of stacking shirts flat, we place them in their drawers almost upright. The kids are able to see which shirt they’re pulling out before they move anything around, and so the rest of the drawer stays neat. I like neat. 🙂

Our littlest is five, a great age for being a helper. This new fold is something he does well, and he’s excited because he does it all by himself. He often says, “You HAVE TO come see this, Mom! My shirts are so good!”

I gasp and tell him, “I’ve never seen anything so neat (especially in this room)!” And he nods his head, proudly.

We get a little excited around here about new systems for keeping things neat and tidy and well-managed. But there are some things which were never meant to be kept in a drawer, out of the way, folded up tight, and managed.

Psalm 119:30 says, The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

I wonder, what is this unfolding, and how often do we approach God’s Word this way?

Do you come to this ancient book, ready to unfold the words and let them unfold upon you?

Do you sit long enough to allow layer upon layer to open before your eyes,
lighting the path of your life? Lighting the way to life?

I love to study God’s Word, yet I’m convicted. Sometimes I allow myself to get swept up in the busyness of life, much of that busyness my own making. Then I approach God’s Word as a super-quick fill-up. I know I need it to get through the days, but I don’t always spend the time.

I don’t always approach the Word the way I’d approach a person I love.

I come rushed, asking for what I need, and please, God, drop it on me fast, because I also need to be out the door in a minute.

I hope you don’t hear any condemnation here. I believe God honors any minute we give Him, just as He honors the hours. But sometimes I see a pattern in me, and I wonder if you see the same.

Sometimes I forget this book is a treasure waiting to be unfolded, waiting to give us light.

His Word is alive and divides me in two. It lifts my eyes beyond everything I can see. It lifts my eyes to heaven. It grows my love for Jesus, for others, and even my love for me–as His work of art, His chosen, His beloved, His sister.

Do you unfold His words, and let them unfold upon you?

To unfold means to open. That’s a pretty straightforward starting place. We open His Word and let His words enter into our hearts.

To unfold is also to reveal, which is something the Lord does for us. He unfolds His words upon us, reminding us of truth or revealing truth in a new way.

Finally, to unfold is to interpret or expound, which takes time and the effort to dig in.

God’s Word is a treasure, and any effort we spend unfolding it, manifests in our lives as light and understanding and wisdom.

Lord, Your Word is perfect, and it refreshes our souls. Your Word is trustworthy, making us wise. Your Word is right, giving joy to our hearts. Your Word is radiant, giving light to our eyes. Your Word is righteous and pure. It is firm and endures forever. Your words are more precious than gold. Help us to treasure them, to treasure You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. {adapted from Psalm 19}

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Angela Parlin







Angela Parlin is Dan’s wife and “Mom” to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, Eyes on Jesus.  


7 Encouraging Words from The Blogosphere

Encouraging Words

7 Bloggers. 7 Heart-Inspiring Mini-Posts. 7 New Bloggers to Check Out.

Join me today as I welcome mini-guest posts on my blog. We can’t read everything online, so I hope to provide a quick rundown of some great words being written. Check them out!

1. Valerie Murray

My mommy! My daddy! Does your child ever possessively announce that you are “his/her” mommy/daddy? Isn’t it because of who you are to them and how you love and take care of them?

When I remember that I am loved by God and my family because of who I am to them, I tend to worry less about my reflection and focus more on my character.

God thinks you’re beautiful because he created you!

God formed man from the dust and personally breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7

He created you in his image. True beauty comes in the pursuit to reflect the image of Christ in our lives.

And clothe yourself with the new nature, which was created according to God’s image in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:24

Read More…

2. Lisa Murray
Follow on Twitter

I was simply stunned from my less-than-gracious tumble, humbled by the gaze of concerned onlookers, and grateful that my husband saw me and picked me up, lovingly lifting me to my feet again.

Isn’t this what God does for us?
Isn’t He the one who sees us in our distress and lovingly picks us up?
Isn’t He that present with us in our lives?

I am reminded of David in Psalm 145:14 (NIV), when he says, The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.

How great is the love of God that doesn’t leave us in such a pitiful state lying on the ground.  He holds up all who fall – ALL.  That means ME!  That means YOU!

What moves me more than anything is to realize that in order for Him to pick us up, He had to be there, right there, watching all along.  He saw.  He sees.  He knows. Read More…

3. Samantha Citty
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This kind of guilt was not from God.

Here was the problem: I was looking for answers at all the wrong places.  I was turning to blogs and social media instead of the One who comforts us in our time of need.  The opinions and words of other people became more important than the Word of God.  I didn’t realize that “the fear of man is a snare, but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected (Proverbs 29:25).

So I read the entire Bible cover to cover and noticed one of several themes about God.  He doesn’t leave or forsake us (1 Chronicles 20:20, Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:5).  He’s not looking down from heaven judging whether or not we’re “good Christians”.  Because without Christ, we aren’t good.  Only He is good.

Not everyone will agree with our choices.  For a while, I took these opinions more seriously than what God thought of His own children.  Since He gives good things to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:11), I can trust He has good intentions for me and my family.  His blessings are beyond the guilt and shame we put ourselves through.  Read More…

4. Lori Schumaker
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That day, as I experienced the betrayal, I felt my thoughts pulling me into the downward cycle of self-blame, unworthiness, and bitterness.

I wanted to hide away, hardening my heart to relationship. I craved a sense of safety, and the enemy beckoned for me to hide my goodness from the world. He beckoned me to hide my light.

In that moment it was tempting. Hiding the good in me away forever in order to protect it from all future attacks, seemed my safest act.

But I’d walked that road before and recognized the lie. In Matthew 5:17 we read, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Truth declares hiding as contrary to His desires for us. If I choose to live contrary to the way in which God has called me, I will only feel a greater sense of unworthiness and bitterness in my soul.
Read More…

5. Sarah Travis
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I see others around me succeeding at running. I feel left out when I can’t track my Couch-to-5k journey along with friends or take part in Tough Mudder!

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13b-14 NIV

We all have to keep moving forward with our eyes focused on the Lord and not what others around us are doing. You see friends, if I run it sets me back rather than moving me forward. I can experience pain that can prevent me from even power-walking. When we strive to be like others, and become bitter because we are not able to be like them, we are keeping ourselves from what we have been created to do.

Ephesians 2:10 says I was “…created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us {me} to do.”  The Lord prepared my assignments before I was even born! I don’t want to miss what He has created me to do because I am too busy looking at the assignments my friends have been given.
Read More…

6. Jenny Shinsky
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I ran under the goal post and past the scoreboard before a friend caught up with me. “You ran the wrong way,” she said. “You just scored for the other team.”

I wore blinders that day. Once the ball was in my possession, I became focused on one thing –  to get a touchdown and win the respect of my classmates.

All those the father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me, I will never drive away. John 6:37

God created us with a need to be loved and accepted. When we expect others to fulfill that need, we set ourselves up to be emotionally hurt. God never meant it to be that way. No one can completely fill our need to be loved and accepted.

Only God can do that. He wants to fill that need.
Read More…

7. Carolyn Newell
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She stood there humiliated and ashamed as her accusers publicly condemned her before Jesus. After catching her in the act of adultery, the men were eager to cast stones at her, but the stones were already being hurled. Stones in the form of words. Adulterer. Tramp. Worthless. Had she heard these words before? Perhaps they had been the labels her conscience had given her.

Jesus stooped down and began writing with His finger on the ground. Nobody knows the words that Jesus wrote that day. What if He replaced the insults of her accusers with the words of a loving Savior? Words like blessed, chosen, and holy. He replaced the labels of the men with labels of blameless, loved, and predestined. He could have identified her as an adopted daughter, accepted in the beloved. Redeemed and forgiven heir. Sealed with the Holy Spirit.

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:11b (NKJV)
Read More…

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Why We Need Revival (Linkup)

Truth Lies Rooted In Him

By Angela Parlin

Even with truth living in and around me, somehow the lie came along too.

I believed in Jesus so young. No major questions, just a big Yes, I believe. I don’t ever remember saying yes to the lie, but it followed me anyway.

It’s the oldest lie on the books, the same lie that poisoned Eden. It wears the mask of something more, something better. But it spoils. After it weasels in to take root in our hearts.

God doesn’t truly love you, not enough. You need more. That’s the lie.

Did you know we can hold the truth in one hand, and reach for something better with the other?…

Continue reading this post at Angela’s blog – click here. And don’t miss the #RaRaLinkup today as Angela Parlin hosts it on her blog!

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Pausing To Prepare

Post by: Christy Mobley

Warning: Don’t ever catch a hormonal woman off guard. However, if you do, approach with caution. Be aware that her responses may range anywhere from rage to tears, and possibly temporary memory loss. And be prepared for such.

I thought I was walking up on two friends talking. I wasn’t privy to the firestorm that took place just minutes before with a third-party, and there was nothing to warn me of the impending danger. But like getting too close to a smoldering ember, I got burned.

Because I was in the wrong place at the right time I was thrown an accusatory question that I wasn’t prepared to answer. And when I did answer, it was anything but graceful.

Instead of giving a response that would exonerate me of the accusation (being transparent as Saran wrap), I gave my friend a long pause and a blank look, all the while scrolling through my menopausal, mental Rolodex to see if there was any possible way I could have been held guilty (which in and of itself made me look as much.) Then as if to seal my fate, I muttered something like, I don’t think I did that.


My friend walked away angry and in tears and I felt like I had hurt our relationship and ruined my witness.

It wasn’t a good day for either of us.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6 NIV

God’s Word in Colossians reminds us,
to always be prepared to speak with grace,
our conversation being seasoned with salt.
(Not laced with arsenic.)

So why didn’t I know how to answer my friend? Why wasn’t I prepared to answer with grace?

Sure, I could have blame it on my menopausal brain fog but that wouldn’t have been the truth. My blank stare was from the brain fog.

The truth was, though I had never called my friend a gossip as she had suggested in the heat of the moment, I obviously had cause to pause and ponder her question.

This meant that I must have, at some time, listened to or entered into a conversation about my friend that could have been construed as negative.

Being prepared has everything to do with what you do beforehand.

I would have been prepared to answer her question if I had made it a habit to:

Pause and consider the power words hold. Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death…

Pause to listen carefully before I let my words tumble out. James 1:19, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”

Pause to consider what is wise. Proverbs 10:19 “When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.”

Pause to examine every word that comes out of my mouth. Even if I think it to be innocent. Matthew 12:36 “I tell you on the day of judgement people will give an account for every careless word they speak.”

Pause to remember that God is always with me and hears every word I say. Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

If I had paused for these things, I would not have had to scroll through an imaginary Rolodex to check what I might have previously said.

I would have known my words were safe.

I would have been prepared to answer my friend with speech seasoned with love and encouragement; words soothing to a wounded heart.

I felt convicted for my run-away words but even more than conviction I felt thankful. This unexpected confrontation gave me reason to examine the cause to pause.

Are you pausing to consider your words before you speak them? Have you ever been caught off guard because you didn’t police your speech? How did you feel? What did you do? I would love to hear your story.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts via email – click here.

Christy is a wife, mother, writer, mentor, and Life Purpose Coach. She is passionate about encouraging women to move forward, and press on through their struggles, seeking God’s presence in every bump and turn in the road. You can connect with Christy at Joying in the Journey

Purposeful Faith Contributor

Labor vs. Love

Post by: Katy

With the Thanksgiving feast only a few weeks away I can’t help but think about the feast preps made famous by Jesus. One feast that two women treated completely different. One woman loved. The other labored.

Jesus’ disciple, Luke, recorded the exchange: Martha invited Jesus into her home then went to work. But her labor peeled her away from His presence. Mary, consumed by her Savior, chose to sit at His feet.

Labor cumbered Martha. Love consumed Mary.

I can’t blame Martha. I imagine her chopping away in the kitchen thinking, “If I don’t do this, who will? Somebody has to do it!” Her chops grew harder. Her blood boiled a little hotter then finally, “That’s it!” she silently screamed.

“And she went up to him [Jesus] and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.'” Luke 10:40 (ESV)

Woah. Crazy lady alert. Can you see her standing in the doorway, hand on hip, jaw clenched, tapping her foot? In this story it’s easy to spot the girl gone wild and her major misstep. Hello! Jesus is in your living room! And you’re complaining about what? Sit down and shut up already!

But if I give it a minute to soak in, this picture hits uncomfortably close to my home. Look at these two gals. Martha stands for chaos, frustration, fatigue. Mary points to a calm, peaceful, purposeful presence. I want to be Mary, but when there’s much to be done it’s hard to choose love over labor. The key word there is choose. Love, often mistaken for a feeling, is actually a choice.

Love serves with a smile as her thoughts swirl around who her hands will serve and how they will benefit. Labor grinds with a grumble as she stands preoccupied with what must be done.

In the very midst of writing this post, opportunity knocked.

My toddler alerted me to the mess with squeals of despair. I hurried around the corner to find him on his back in a growing puddle of water. By the time I arrived, an overflowing toilet bowl had turned the bathroom into a wade pool and threatened to expand into the hallway. I have no clue about plumbing, so I couldn’t make the water stop gushing over the edge. I pushed, pulled and twisted everything on the toilet that moved. Finally, I jammed a bottle of hand soap under something.

I lovingly mopped up the minor flood, piled the sopping towels in the middle of the bathroom, shut the door and ordered no one to use that bathroom until Daddy got home.

No, we did not all have a hearty laugh in the midst of the bathroom fiasco, but we did escape the chaos caused by panic, raised voices, and an overwhelmed spirit. We worked together. The big boys gathered towels and helped the little ones grab a snack.

No, I did not feel like smiling and speaking softly as the kids galloped through the water like I intentionally put it there for them to splash through; but the choice to love made the moment easier to manage.

My Jesus, may my chore never become greater than your choice to love me first, so that I may love. (1 John 4:19)

Leave a Comment! Who do you identify most with? Mary or Martha? Why?

I’d love to hear from you friend!

Sincerely, Katy

I left my job as a television news reporter to join my husband, Luke, on our adventure in the National Football League. 10 years, 12 moves, 6 kids, 5 teams, and 4 states later, it's safe to say the road has been anything but predictable. Our dreams today don't look quite like they did ten years ago, but I've learned along the way dreams do come true ... even if you're not a Disney World.

I left my job as a television news reporter to join my husband, Luke, on our adventure in the National Football League. 10 years, 12 moves, 6 kids, 5 teams, and 4 states later, it’s safe to say the road has been anything but predictable. Our dreams today don’t look quite like they did ten years ago, but I’ve learned along the way dreams do come true … even if you’re not a Disney World.

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Let your Light Shine Bright

Let your light shine bright
I was in a mom’s bible study. We were there to grow in love of the Lord – to share his work in the midst of the craziness of motherhood, his encouragement when we felt despair and his grace in failures. As much as I was looking to be loved and accepted, I wanted to shine an encouraging word into each of their hearts.
God had been transforming my soul in awe-inspiring ways, so I was eager to share. He had been teaching me about trusting him – about reaching outside of myself, stepping outside of my comfort zone and about letting go of things I clenched so tightly.  He was teaching me to let him work out what was his to work out. God was teaching me in a powerful way.
But, as I stepped into the spotlight of vulnerability, a dark cloud cast a shadow over me.  I questioned, “Is my story even good enough? Am I overwhelming them? Can they handle all this “Jesus talk”? Am I a “know-it-all”? Do these ladies even care?”
I left the group defeated and discouraged. I went in with a flame ready to ignite the group’s passion for the Lord, but I left with burnt ashes in my wake. 
I was confused. Shining my “light” illuminated my vulnerabilities – and highlighted my insecurities.
God, I heard your call. Why did this happen?

After much soul-searching, I realized I hid my candle – out of fear of judgment.  The light still remained in my soul, but I took my eyes off of God.

I placed the value of my light on the women in my sight.
Instead of the God who works with all might.
Instead of the God who is completely right.
Instead of the God who shines bright.

God’s glory, his radiance, and his brilliance are not dependent on the responses of others. He is light.

It is impossible for darkness to extinguish light.  It will always shine. It will always be. It does not depend on reactions, perceptions or judgments.  It just is.

Even if you have your flame hidden, it is still there. It stands ready to shine.Because the light he put in us is truth. It is the power he works within us to shine the glory of Jesus Christ in present day life.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6 NLT)

To hide his light, to squelch its power – is to hide the saving and redeeming work of Jesus Christ.  When we do this, we hide the work he has set forth for us to do. But, when we live based on the light that is within us, we are truly living. We are in his will. We are living with purpose and with power. We can see the way we should go. It is amazing. It is powerful.

In Order to Let Your Light Shine Bright, You Should:

  • Not fear the response of man.
  • Speak as the Lord directs.
  • Listen to others opinions and reflect on truth.
  • We run from those who are not willing to listen or hear.
  • Realize that the value of our message is not dependent on the value of others responses.
  • Give glory to the Lord all the time – in all ways.
  • Weigh our words carefully before speaking.
  • Speak truth no matter what, balanced in love.
  • Be who God created us to be, no matter how others feel.
When we shine light – when we let our light shine bright – God sends it into dark places. We  may not even know the distance that our light will shine.  He will send it far and he will send it wide. Our job is to keep our eyes on him and trust him as we let him lead.
People will judge us, but his truth will lead us. He will not let our foot slip (Proverbs 121:3). 

Never be afraid to shine too brightly for the one you love; for the light within you is set to light the world on fire with a love of Christ. Let your light shine bright.


How to Run Hard for the Lord

How to run hard for the Lord

God doesn’t answer based on what we want, he answers based on what we need.

We may think we need peace and he says no, you need trials. We may think we need joy – he says perseverance.  We may think blessings – he says endurance.  We may think money – he says contentment.  We may think appreciation – he says love.

I was on the hunt for “encouragement”…

After my “big rejection”, an amazing friend who is wise beyond her years, strong in the Lord and faithful to his call, sent me this verse:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”  Hebrews 12:1

I think she wanted to encourage me in my race, to help me with endurance, but what God revealed was something far deeper and even more convicting.  Let me explain…

I love a good race.  I love competing and I love pushing through my personal barriers physically and mentally. I get the idea of running a race for the Lord.  Why?

I feel ready to give it all. I feel ready to explode off the starting line and to push no matter what my body feels.  I want to arrive at the gate of heaven and fall in front of my King with a fast beating heart, with sweat on my brow. I want to fall before him out of breath, knowing I gave it all.  I don’t want to have an ounce of push left.

I want this so badly.  But still, I get caught looking at the sidelines. I look at the crowds of people telling me to follow them, I look at my own inadequacies and I pump my arms with pride.

God knows this.  He sees this. And, as any fine coach would do – to make me the best runner for his kingdom – he trains me. He pushes me.  He sends me through hard training days; days with some pain – some trials. These trials serve to mold me into a champion runner for his kingdom.  They strip me of my own ways and the world’s ways – to make me more like him, the ultimate champion.

Even so, sometimes I wonder, despite all this, why I still slow down?

And, this was why Hebrews 12:1 was so powerful.  It was this part…“Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.”  

God bugged me with this verse to see that: I can’t run loaded with weight.  I have a part in this race.

Sin weight slows me down.  It trips me up.  It keeps me from Him.

And, when sin is strapped on, its burden is heavy.  It’s consuming. It stops us in our tracks. It distracts us and trips us up.  We can try to pretend it is not there, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t.  

God is faithful to keep bugging us to address it.  When we do, we grow.  If we don’t, we fall.

I may have been trying to run a “victory”, but sometimes a “failure or a disappointment” ends up being the greatest “victory”. Why? Because as we fail, we can see our own faults and we hear him whispering, “Confess.”

I didn’t want trials.  I didn’t want pain.  I didn’t want rejection.  I didn’t want humiliation.

God said, “It’s not about you. Confess.”

I confess Lord, I have sinned.  I want all of you.  I can’t mentally pursue the race you have set before me when my mind is weighed down by my own desires and my own sin.

It is easy to want joy, peace, contentment and blessings.  It is easy to want encouragement and motivation, but God is operating from the throne of all knowledge, all power and all sovereignty.  In his seat, he sees yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He knows precisely what we need to finish our race. He knows precisely what will hold us back from finishing.

He wants us to be champions. He wants us to run with speed and power and strength.
He wants us to finish strong and joyful. 

We are more than just conquerors in Christ Jesus.

What baggage holds you back?  What do you need to confess?  What trials might God be using to train you?

When we confess, God has a greater gift in store.  The gift of speed and endurance that helps us run our race unencumbered.