Like so many who experienced childhood sexual abuse, Michelle grappled with feeling barely tolerated by Jesus. She writes about her journey from spiritual pauper to extravagantly loved princess, so that others, like us, can realize our role in God’s creation as prized treasures.
It’s common for those who experienced childhood abuse to feel shunned by God. We know in our heads that Jesus loves the world, but that truth never quite sinks into our hearts. As Michelle puts it, “Some girls were precious in His sight – but not me.” Read more
We live in an unjust world. No one knows this better than St. Valentine, the man for whom the holiday we’re celebrating is named.
Legend has it the priest refused to obey Roman Emperor Claudias’ decree forbidding marriages. Claudias believed more men would be willing to join the army and go off to war if they remained single. Believing Claudias’ decree to be unjust, Valentine secretly officiated weddings anyway. Read more
I still do! In our fourteen years of marriage, Doug and I credit three things for our happiness:
Prayer—out loud, together. This helps us remember who the enemy is. (Hint: it’s not your spouse.)
Date nights—we have a standing date each week on the calendar. If someone asks us to do something during that time, we truthfully say we have a prior commitment scheduled.
Marriage conferences—conferences are my favorite! Attending one with my husband makes it even better. We always learn something helpful.
Last month we attended a simulcastI Still Do conference by Dennis Rainey’s Family Life Today. In his talk, Dennis noted that he and his wife Barbara had been married for forty years, but still had fights from time to time.
I love to read. This week’s pick reminded me of a story I read two years ago. This is my tale of two stories–both well written, but two very different perspectives.
Early in January of 2014, when my own private hell broke loose in my mind, I was taking an advanced fiction writing course as a part of my bachelor’s degree requirements at Oregon State. As one of our assignments, we read “Train,” by Alice Munro.
I wrote this in my assignment: “I find in this story an interesting juxtaposition of a circular story that runs along the sides of a straight railroad track. Jackson is trying to run away, but his life keeps turning in circles, despite his horizontal trips up and down the railway train. The story essentially is about figuring out what Jackson is running away from and why.” Read more
Recently, my husband and I took a long-awaited vacation to Disney World. If you’ve never been there, what they say is true—it really is the happiest place on earth.
It’s not just a vacation; it’s a slip-from-reality trip to a magical land of pure joy. Three days without seeing litter, poverty, or having to think about maintenance of any kind. (Well, I did fix my hair and makeup, but other than that, I lived in a fairytale.) Read more
Last year at this time, I stood over four graves, gazing at stones laid twenty-five years ago in the ground next to our grandparents’ and great-uncles’. Family members too young to remember what happened asked how it came to be that a woman thirty-four years old, and boys only 11, 10, and five years old had the same date of death.
As I reflect on the shootings last week in Oregon and Arizona, I remember the horror of hearing how my four relatives were gunned down in their own home. Only three words summed up the senseless tragedy. “What a waste.” Read more
I credit three things for all the healing I’ve experienced in the past year:
God pursues me. He reached down through the fog and told me that my story mattered to Him. Without Him, I don’t know to what depths of misery I’d have sunk.
The Holy Spirit has given me a fresh hunger for God’s Word, especially concerning His character. The more I know Him, the more I can trust Him.
Faithful friends, old and new, continue to express their love and appreciation for me. Their affirmations hold me up on those days when I sink back into performance-driven living instead of authentic relationship with my Creator Abba.
Choosing our friends well makes a huge difference in our healing process, especially coming to terms with our self-worth. The voices we listen to either lift us up or drag us down. Sometimes the healing process means letting go of toxic relationships, and sometimes it means less time in shallow friendships and investing more in valuable relationships.
It’s not often that I come out of a movie theater with deeper spiritual insight. This weekend I viewed War Room; the Holy Spirit spoke to me.
Some critics implied that War Room addresses a straw man issue. Of course prayer changes things, they say. Reviewers claim no one would argue that God doesn’t want us to pray more fervently or that American Christians as a whole haven’t become apathetic. They may be right, but I needed to see the movie anyway. Read more