Lessons from Galilee

Lately, the Lord has been speaking to me about stepping out of my comfort zone, out of the "boat" where I feel I am safe.  

I don't know where (or to what) He's calling me yet, but I know the call is coming!  He's been using practically everything to speak to me!

I began to hear this message while I was in Israel, standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.  As I stood there, wind tugging at my hair and my clothes, I tried to picture a terrifying storm over the peaceful lake, to imagine the fear of the disciples as they struggled to keep their little boat afloat.  And then, to see Him, walking across the tumultuous waves... wow!

As I stood in the gentle surf, I prayed that God would give me Peter's faith.  I know that if I'd been in his sandals, I would have clung to that flimsy boat helplessly, begging Jesus to calm the storm with His words like He'd done before.  But get out?! Yeah, right!  I'm staying right here, where I feel safe!

But fortunately I wasn't on that boat.  And I have the advantage of having read the story.  I know what happens when Peter decides to get out.  He walks on the water, too.  Yeah, he gets scared, takes his eyes off of Jesus, and begins to sink.  But he walked on water, y'all.  

And I have the power to choose that outcome for myself...
if I choose to follow where my Savior calls.

Over Independence Day weekend, I devoured the book Water Walker, by Ted Dekker.  (First part is free for download here.)  Without giving too much of the book away, Water Walker draws a parallel between physical storms and the storms of life.  We live in our little boats, thinking we're safe from drowning in the water, but in reality, the boat creates a false sense of safety.  

I am no more safe in a canoe than I am actually in the water during a storm.  In fact, I am less safe there if I have specifically been called out of the boat.

And then, this week in my devotional, I'm reading about Jonah and how sometimes storms are used to get our attention.  This one part stuck out to me:  God is flushing you out of hiding from behind the perceived protection of your flimsy umbrella.  And then: We are more fearful of the task itself than of the consequences of our disobedience.


Yeah, basically the same thing He'd been speaking to me about the boat.  Only now there were consequences to disobedience.  I was stricken, convicted.  I immediately wrote in the margin, "I am Jonah!"  But I don't want to be a Jonah.  I want to be a Peter.  

I want to be the one who discounts the fear, the boat's safety, the impossibility of the task.  I want to be the one who boldly says, "Master, if it's really you, call me to come to you on the water!" (Matthew 14:28 MSG)

So that's been my prayer the last couple of days, that God would give me the courage to accept His call when it comes, that I would look above the rising waves and see His hand held out to me.  

I want to trust that He has prepared me for what He's called me to do.

(And yes, if you were wondering, all these pictures are ones I took of Galilee.  It's just that beautiful!)

July Printable --- FREE

Hello again, blog!

It's been a long, crazy month with two cross-country road trips, an international trip, and then the day-to-day life with three littles.  But I promise I have some posties in the works for y'all!

For now, though, I'll just share this patriotic print I designed to celebrate Independence Day this coming weekend.  I love both the promise of the verse as well as the reminder to pray for our nation, that we would continue to be a nation that honors God.

Just download, print at home or at a copy&print center, and frame!

June Printable --- FREE

I'm sharing another one of my favorite scriptures with y'all today in the form of a free print!

I believe that God has a special place in His heart for children.  They are special to Him, and as such, should be special to us, as well.  So, whether you have one child or many, claim the blessings that He has promised.  Children are a reward from Him.

This print is kind of masculine, so it may just be what you're looking for as a Father's Day gift for a special man in your life.  I may end up using it myself... ;)

Just download, print at home or at a copy&print center, and frame!

A Dream Come True


I'm going to Israel.  On Tuesday.

I am not even sure if my mind adequately comprehends what I am about to do.

I've always loved the land of Israel, always had a desire to go.  Ever since I was 9 or 10 years old, I have been dreaming about the day I would see the land for myself.

I want to go where history began.  I want to see the land God chose for the people He chose.  I want to walk where the heroes of my faith walked.  I want to be the place where my Lord stepped out of eternity into time, where He grew, and lived.  Where He died, where He rose, and where He is soon returning.

The fact that I'm actually going hasn't quite set in yet.  I've already spent some tears in anticipation, but the bulk of my emotions will probably hit me halfway over the Atlantic.

Speaking of which, if you think of it, please say a prayer for me.  I struggle with minor travel anxiety and I would love to not be affected during this trip!  I get knots in my stomach and have trouble eating whenever I am in new places.  And since Israeli food is so yummy, I would really love to eat a falafel every day that I'm there. ;) Thanks, y'all.

(And if you think of it, please also pray for my children, that they won't miss their mama too much while I'm gone!)

I purchased a new journal for my trip, and am prayerfully anticipating the Lord speaking to me a lot while I'm in Israel!  Hopefully I'll be able to turn His voice + my thoughts + notes from our trip into blogs when I get back.

If you'd like to keep up with my journey, you can do so via my Instagram feed.  I will have wi-fi at the hotels and plan to post pictures and thoughts each evening.

To the Mamas of Angels

I know the pain that Mother's Day can bring.  I know the feeling of the hurt in your heart that you experience every single day, the one that is only magnified on this day that celebrates everything contrary to what you feel:  Life.  Love.  Hope.  Motherhood.

Even as I snuggle with my three sweet children, my heart yearns for the two that I will never know on this earth, my two precious angels in heaven.  My heart will forever be incomplete.

When you lose a child, you lose a part of your heart.  And you never get it back.

Two pieces of my heart will always be missing.  The loss of a child is not something your mama's heart ever gets over.  To tell the truth, I'm not sure it's something your heart was made to get over.  The very nature of my heart, of your heart, of every mother's heart, was made to hold that child.  Forever.

For whatever reason our arms our empty -- miscarriage,  stillbirth,  abortion -- it doesn't matter.  It doesn't matter how they died.  It just matters that they lived.  No matter how briefly, your child lived.  

I can't pretend to understand the agony of infertility, nor the despair in the inability to carry a child to term, nor the pain of abortion.  But I do know the heartbreak of miscarriage.  I do know what it feels like to have babies in heaven, to have a heart that will never be whole.

One of the hardest parts of my first Mother's Day was the feeling that I wasn't a mother.  I felt like I was drowning in grief, having miscarried only a few weeks before, watching all the mothers in the church stand to be honored.  I fought the tears that threatened to overwhelm me.  Drew squeezed my hand, gently urged me to stand also, but I couldn't.

I'm not a mother.  I may never be.  The thought glued me to my seat.

But it was a lie.

was a mother, even though my baby was no longer living.  Believing that lie was like saying my child had never existed.  But he had.  For almost four weeks, he had lived in my womb.  And as soon as he ceased to be alive, he awoke in the arms of Jesus, where he still lives.

Hear me, mothers.  That voice that denies you your rightful title of mama?  That voice that dismisses the life of your child, however brief?  It is lying.  Please don't believe that lie.

You are a mama, an angel's mama.