A Fairytale Life

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.

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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.)
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Culture crisis: What do we do about mass shootings?

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.

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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.”
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Friends: God’s Way of Giving Affirmation and Exhortation

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.

These friends have walked miles with me, both literally and figuratively.
These friends have walked miles with me, both literally and figuratively.

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War Room: How a Beloved Child of God Goes to Prayer

 

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.

 

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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.
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Can We Trust God With Our Story?

william-shakespeare-62936_1280“All the world’s a stage,” Shakespeare quipped. I can appreciate his enthusiasm for the theatre; I’ve been doing community theatre for about ten years, and I never get over the thrill of stepping onto the stage to put on a dazzling performance. There’s nothing like curtain call, the flash of the cameras and sound of applause.

Recently I realized I had created a stage-perfect life. My husband and I have a great marriage. We have beautiful daughters, and I had the fortune of being a homeschool mom until the youngest one graduated. My husband works for a national Christian radio host. We’ve been leaders in church. We have a nice house and lots of wonderful friends. Life was great.
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What Kind of Father is God?

Yesterday I celebrated the first Father’s Day since my dad passed away on September 11, 2014.

I say celebrated, because that’s what I chose to do. Honestly, it was hard. I would have rather curled up in bed with a book (or three) all day and avoided it. But since I have another father to honor—the man who has devoted so much love and care over the years to our now-adult kids—I wanted to make it special for him. He deserves it.

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Fitness and Nutrition Revolution

 

I wish I could be someone else. Why do I hate myself so much? 

Though never verbalized, those thoughts tromped through my head often, especially at the beginning of 2014.

I had no idea that God looked at me as a priceless treasure. Despite reading Bible verses to the contrary for most of my life, I always thought they applied to someone else and not me.

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What’s the Church’s Response to Sexual Abuse?

What’s the saddest story in the Bible?

Different people all have their own opinions, but for me it’s the story of Tamar.

2 Samuel tells her sad tale. She’s Absalom’s sister, and the half-sister of Amnon.

Amnon, under the advice of his cousin, tricked Tamar into cooking food for him at his house. When they were alone, he raped her.

If that weren’t enough, he had his servant toss her out of his house and bolt the door. In that culture, she was finished—no longer a virgin, she would never marry or have a family. Never have a respectable profession. In her shame, still wearing the ornate robe fit for a young virgin princess, Tamar put ashes on her head and wept.

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