Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

I woke up with a dark cloud over my head this morning. It doesn't happen often. But when it does, I don't like it. I don't like feeling negative one tiny bit.
I had a hundred different things swirling in my mind. Things I needed to do. People I needed to contact. Things I didn't want to forget. Situations I couldn't control.
As Chad made his breakfast before leaving for work, he quietly let me vent. Anxiety was trying to get the best of me and I knew it.
Chad hugged me.
"I'm going to leave this right here, where it belongs," he half-jokingly said, waving his hand above me.
When he reminded me he had other dinner plans, on the way out the door, it was the last thing I could take. I love our evenings together. I just nodded and turned away, finally letting go of the tears that begged to escape.
I looked through the side windows flanking the front door. Pink remnants of the sunrise filled the sky. A beautiful reminder I wasn't alone.
"God, fill me with your peace. I can't do this alone. Help me to focus on just today and what you have for me," I prayed.
Recently I've been considering deep spiritual questions like, why do I believe Jesus is who he claimed to be? And why do I believe Scripture is true? In short, why do I believe what I believe?
My faith has been reaffirmed in multiple ways as I've sought answers, but none so clearly as this morning.
My black cloud gave way to peace.
Real, soul-penetrating peace.
Peace that doesn't make sense apart from a loving, supernatural God.
I knew, once again, my faith isn't just head-knowledge. I changed. There was no denying it.
That's what a personal relationship with Jesus does. It changes you.
It helps you see things from his perspective.
It helps you let go of the things you aren't meant to carry.
It helps you see how much he loves you.
Just try him.
Maybe if you have a cloud above you, you'll have a breakthrough, too.

If I see the things in nature as part of your creation -- trees, flowers, birds, the sky -- beautiful and complex beyond comprehension, God help me to see other people through that same lens.

Yesterday as I thought about the art I would create for the day, the lyrics from a song kept floating through my mind: "More than mortals, we are royals, we are Yours" (from the North Point InsideOut EP 'Nothing Ordinary').

The idea of us being royalty, princes and princesses, almost sounds too good to be true. But scripture says "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:18

What a beautiful statement.

We belong.

We are wanted by a loving Father.

We are children of the most high King.

more than mortals

For 15 years of my adult life I had the same journal. That tells you how often I wrote it in. When I read the old entries from my early 20's, and there aren't that many, it's obvious I was searching. Searching for purpose. Searching for answers to hard questions.

There was a 7-year gap between my last entry and the first one written somewhat recently in 2015. When I compare those two entries, the difference in myself is like night and day. I had faith in God back then, but it was still immature. Somewhere during those 7 years I moved from discontentment to being full of peace and confidence that God was truly with me. That first entry in 2015 was prompted by my time spent in El Salvador, which changed my life in a profound way. I haven't stopped writing since. → Read More

Blog Post Header - Sweet Rest-01I've heard it said that as an entrepreneur, when your "why" meets your passion, magic happens. You find the fuel to implement your ideas, commit to your projects and push through the difficult parts. Your business flourishes. Yes, I believe when the two intersect it is a powerful thing. But I also believe it's not enough to rely on our own efforts. We become discouraged too easily, give up too easily and listen to the well-meaning opinions of others too easily. → Read More

I met a friend for a run at the trail today. I enjoy the time I spend with her as we get moving, soak up the sun and fresh air, catch up on personal life and talk art and business. She's a creative person as well so it's great to share thoughts with her and know that she truly understands.

As we talked about art business, a topic that came up was social media. You might remember that I basically declared war on social media last summer. I largely stepped away so that I could learn to control my use of social media instead of letting it control me. And if I'm being honest, to a certain extent, I still have trouble with it today. It's a slippery slope that will probably always be that way. But today I'm also much more aware of my social media use. It doesn't receive my attention first thing in the morning anymore and I'm no longer victim to the comparison trap. Whew! It feels good to say that.

But the biggest benefit to unplugging for awhile? → Continue Reading


One of the defining characteristics of Jesus was that he loved all people, regardless of who they were or what they had done. Matthew, a tax collector in Jesus' day, was at the bottom of society's barrel and yet Jesus had dinner with him and other "tax collectors and sinners" at Matthew's house (Matthew 9:10). He also spoke to a Samaritan women at a well, not caring that it was taboo for Jews to associate with Samaritans, let alone a woman who had 5 previous husbands and was currently with a man who was not her husband (John 4:7-18). Jesus had compassion on lepers, who were shunned by society, and wasn't afraid to touch them (Matthew 8:3). And Jesus, in the company of the religious leaders or Pharisees, allowed a woman who "lived a sinful life" to shed tears on his feet, wipe them with her hair, kiss his feet and pour perfume on them (Luke 7:36-38).

That's a whole lot of humanity, isn't it? → Continue Reading

"What's so great about being a Christian, anyway?" The question hung in the air as I drove back to the office with a group of friends and colleagues after lunch. I was only 23 years old at the time, and we were having a conversation about the new church my husband and I were attending. It was unlike any other church we visited before: the music was excellent and current, the messages were relevant and it just felt like home. We had only been attending for a few months and already knew that profound life-change was occurring. → Continue Reading

It's funny how you can read or hear a specific Scripture verse dozens of times, and suddenly it sinks in more deeply. This morning it was Psalm 119:105 - "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." I love the imagery of light piercing the darkness, of a warm glow straight ahead of me, directing the way. But the phrase that resonates in my mind is "your word".

It's God's word that lights our paths. Not our calendars. Not our work-schedules. Not our to-do lists. Not our hopes and fears. Not our ambitions. Not what is trending on Facebook. All of those solutions require us to do something, or be something, to navigate this often-times messy life. But God says all we need is His word. That's freeing, isn't it?

One of the best ways to experience this for yourself is to spend a few minutes, in the quiet of the morning, reading Scripture. This discipline builds a firm foundation for the rest of the day. Looking at that Psalm again, if we are in God's word it will light our paths. We will have assurance we are going the right way and can tackle whatever may come.

If you need direction I suggest using a daily devotional to help focus your thoughts. Lately, I have been reading Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence. At the bottom of each entry are Scripture references that you can look up in your Bible, on an app such as YouVersion, or a website like BibleGateway. If you are choosing a Bible for the first time, I recommend a translation that you can easily understand; my favorite is the New International Version (NIV). If this sounds like a lot, don't worry! Daily devotionals are typically short and only take a few minutes of time. If you can work through the struggle of getting started and make it a habit, you'll be glad you did.

In Job 11 it says if we devote our hearts to God, "life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning." (v. 17).


It's what God promises.

It's just for you.



Three weeks ago I boarded a flight in Atlanta with 15 other team members on a globalX short term mission trip to El Salvador. Today and back home, I'm a different person.

Our purpose in El Salvador was to serve alongside La Casa de mi Padre, a children's home whose vision is to heal hearts, restore families and bring hope. We met the children under their care, saw firsthand the healthy home environments they provide, and experienced the love poured out onto these children and into their community. Though La Casa's work is ongoing, from my perspective, their vision is reality.

Our team spent several days working at La Finca (the future home for La Casa) on a house that will be the transition home for their young adult men: boys who have aged out of the children's home. We painted the interior and exterior walls and hung ceiling fans and lighting. We also sealed a fence containing a horse-riding area, used as a form of therapy for the children who need it. It was great to see how much work can be accomplished with many helping hands and willing hearts.

La Finca transition home - before

La Finca transition home - before

House Getting Base Coat

Applying the base coat

New textured, orange Colonial finish

New textured, orange Colonial finish

La Finca transition home - after

La Finca transition home - after

The children of La Casa were in school during the week days, but we were still able to have some quality time with them during our stay. Just like any other kids, they were full of energy and liked to have fun! We had an afternoon of crafts with the girls, making colorful, duct tape handbags and beaded ribbon barrettes, while the boys played fútbol/soccer. Even faces were painted.

Ribbon and tape choices for crafts with the girls

Colorful ribbons, barrettes and tape

Receiving a demonstration. I needed it, too!

Receiving a demonstration. I needed it, too!

A happy, painted face

Happily painted

We spent another afternoon at the park with the kids, playing kickball and basketball, braiding hair and painting nails. Afterward the boys retreated to play a game, while the girls held a dance party! There were a lot of smiles and laughs that day.

Dina gave me the most beautiful, artistic manicure.

Dina (and Aby - not shown) gave me the most beautiful, artistic manicure. I rarely paint my fingernails, so I felt pampered.

Probably one of the most profound experiences occurred while we delivered food to families surrounding La Finca. La Casa makes it a practice to meet their neighbors face to face, and provide their most basic needs such as rice and beans for cooking, to show them they are valued.

Bags of food carried out into the community

Bags of food prepared for us to carry out into the community

Literally in the jungle, we hiked up and down mountainous terrain to find the humblest of homes tucked away among the trees. Not expecting our visit, each person we met greeted us with both surprise and gratitude.

View while delivering food

View while delivering food

Most of us required a translator (thank you Carlos!) in order to communicate with our Spanish-speaking neighbors. We spent a little time at each house, talking with the families, praying with them and hearing their stories. One woman in particular captured my heart as she invited us into her home. As we were getting ready to say goodbye, I wanted to tell this woman that we loved her. I watched her outward demeanor soften as she heard those words in her language and her eyes filled with tears. In that moment, I knew that was why we traveled all those miles to El Salvador... partner with La Casa in sharing God's love.

Something happens inside of us when we catch a glimpse of God at work, when we see people through His lens instead of our own. Suddenly the little things that distract us fade away. The things and people that matter to God, matter to us. We find ourselves the recipients of unconditional love and therefore receive the capacity to give it. We are changed.

I am changed.

It feels like the beginning of something new...and it's entirely beautiful.

The view from the back of the house. Their chapel is seen on the middle left.

The view from the back of the house. Their chapel is seen on the middle left. We spent a few minutes there hearing about the future plans for La Casa de mi Padre and sang Amazing Grace. No instruments, just our voices lifted up in worship to God. Beautiful.