Please, No More!

The first day of autumn––when the hours of daylight and nighttime are equal in most of the Northern Hemisphere––occurs next week. But for most of us, the fall season has already fallen upon our schedules. Summer vacations (in whatever form they took this year) linger behind us and in social media posts. Kiddos returned to school, whether in person or virtually. We continue to wrestle with daily news of injustice, political unrest, and natural disasters. And now we struggle with getting back into a healthy, life-giving rhythm of life.

But how can we move forward into fall when we continue to grieve the loss of so many aspects of our used-to-be “normal” life?

Like many of you, I thought this fall would usher in the return of normal work hours in offices and schools, eating in restaurants, gathering with friends and Bible study groups, and attending church together within the full community. But COVID-19. It feels like we’ve lost so much this year. And unfortunately, 2020 continues to rebuke our previous hopes and desires for “normal” as day after day we encounter challenges drenched in words we now loathe like unprecedented and pivot.

If I’m being honest, some days I want to cry out to Jesus, “Please, no more! I don’t want to lose anything else!” On hard days like this, I take comfort in these words written by someone who likely felt a lot of what we feel this year:

I am deprived of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is.
So I said, “My endurance has expired; I have lost all hope of deliverance from the Lord.”

I remember my affliction and my wandering, which is a bitter poison. I continually think about this, and I am depressed. But this I call to mind; therefore I have hope: The Lord’s great love never ceases; his compassions never end. They are fresh every morning; great is your faithfulness!

“My portion is the Lord,” I have said to myself, so I will put my hope in him. The Lord is good to those who trust in him, to the one who seeks him. It is good to wait patiently for deliverance from the Lord.

(Lamentations 3:17–26)

No matter our circumstances today, no matter how dire and desperate our tomorrows become, we can always find hope in Jesus. He remains victorious and we share in his victory today (and always) as we dwell with him.

So back to the original question: How can we move forward when we continue to grieve the loss of so many aspects of our used-to-be “normal” life? And how do we share in Christ’s victory and find strength in his presence today? One way is to connect with him in prayer––moment by moment and day by day. We don’t have to create eloquent, longwinded prayers. Short prayers help usher in power and peace. In my April blog, I shared some short prayers to aid in times of fear, doubt, and anxiety:

  • Holy Spirit, I am weak; you are strong; be strong in me.
  • Holy Spirit, I am afraid (full of anxiety, struggling with depression); you are my confidence; be courage in me.
  • Holy Spirit, I can’t understand what’s going on and I’m frozen in place; you are my Shepherd; lead me step-by-step through this dark valley.
  • Holy Spirit, I don’t know what to say to others who are hurting; you are the Author of all life; give me the words and speak through me.

As this year of turmoil and forced isolation continues, I added two more to my list:

  • Jesus, I can’t do this; you can; do it through me.
  • Jesus, I need joy; you are joy; be joy in and through me.

Friends, wherever you find yourself in this season, Jesus invites you to live into the peace and power of his resurrection life. Accept his invitation. Turn from the brokenness of this world and seek the hope and assurance of his everlasting presence. He stands with you in all things. So regardless of yesterday’s trials, you and I can choose to sing today: Great is your faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see!

May we focus on the hope of new mercies today.

Fun, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

A Message for Weary Souls

As this over-the-top-difficult year wears on and hopes for a summer reprieve or a maskless fall fade, my mind can struggle to muster up positivity. I’ve heard I’m not alone. Apparently many of us wrestle with the lack of normalcy, inability to plan a way forward, and uncertainty of how long “this” will last. Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Sheroes of the Bible

The last two months unfolded like an archeological dig. Week after week, I joined a group of women to unlock stories of the past, dust off musty translations, and peer into golden lives of unlikely sheroes. Who are these sheroes? Women easily overlooked, discounted, and even scorned. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Robbed of My Right of Passage

In this Covid-19 time, there’s a group of celebrants who feels the loss of their special day more than others: Graduates. With no stage, no diploma in hand, and no procession, it’s hard to feel the same sense of accomplishment and closure. How do I know? I’m a 2020 graduate. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

The Week After Easter

The Easter message––that Jesus came to set us free and give us new life––does not change. Even in the confines of a pandemic. No one could have foreseen the magnitude of coronavirus strife. Except Jesus. Jesus knew that days like these were coming. Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Your Christmas Wish

Each year growing up, I made a list of things I wanted for Christmas. “A horse” always topped the list. I knew I had to be nice, not naughty. Looking back, that’s probably why I never got the horse. Anyhoo… Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Running the Race of Life

As Thanksgiving approaches, many of us are gearing up for our favorite running day of the year. Even non-runners love the annual Turkey Trot which leads to a guilt-free feast. Whether or not you run, we’re all called to the race of life, and we all need encouragement along the way… Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Waiting Out the Wait

We’re not good at waiting. We live in a culture of instant response and immediate gratification. “Right now” has become the norm and expectation. Unfortunately, at different times in life, we all have to wait. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

What CAN I do?

We experience seasons of illness and injury that engulf us like a suffocating suffering. We want to hope for complete healing. What CAN I do? I’ve pondered the depth of this question. Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Sometimes There Aren't Words

Sometimes there just aren’t words. But in those times there is Someone who speaks… Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Welcome to My Messy

My life is messy. Of course, you wouldn’t know my life is messy just by looking at me. Most of us don’t want others to see our behind-the-scenes messy truth. And whether we recognize it or not, we live in a constant battle for self-worth, fighting against isolation. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Your Life through the Keyhole

How we view our life each day is like looking through the keyhole of a big old door. It’s as if we’re looking at ourselves, other people, and circumstances through a tiny window. Our vantage is severely limited. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing | Tagged , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

How Not to Hate the Wait

In our world of one-click shopping and on-demand streaming, much of life no longer unfolds over time. We want what we want when we want it. We require instantaneous life. Unfortunately, God often asks us to wait. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Unanswered Prayers

When someone dies, we struggle with the “why”. Why didn’t God answer our prayers? As Easter approaches, the “why” questions of the disciples mirror our own. How can we continue to trust God? Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Who Do You Say I Am?

Many of us know the greatest stories ever told. And often our focus is on the action or players or outcome. But the stories of the Bible have another purpose. A.W. Tozer said, “What you think about God is the most important thing about you.” Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Fear or Faith at Work?

It’s no fun living like a double agent with different personas at work v. home. How do we overcome fear of living out our faith at work? Do we have to talk about Jesus in order to be a witness at work? Here are 3 critical truths. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Why Work?

The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why” (Mark Twain). If we’re honest, we all want to know the why… Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Greatest Gift: A Partridge in a Pear Tree

What’s your favorite Christmas carol? One of my all-time favorites is the “12 Days of Christmas” as sung by John Denver and the Muppets. Corny, maybe. But then I found out the meaning behind the words… Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

No More Masks

Masks. We all wear them. We’re afraid to let people see and know the real us. We hide behind our masks and often fake it. But freedom comes when we live out our truth. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

What's Your Superpower?

If you were approached by a genie wanting to grant you one wish for any superhero power, what would you ask for? My first thought: ask for something I could use in the battle between good and evil… Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Work in Heaven?

As Labor Day approaches, most Americans anticipate a well-deserved day off work. For many of us, work is a daily grind. But what if work isn’t supposed to be a grind? And what if our work doesn’t end with our time on earth? Have you ever thought about work in heaven? Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Better to Have Loved & Lost?

As human beings, we cannot live healthy, abundant, prolonged lives without love. We are created to love. We long for love. We will do crazy things to show our love. But at some point in our lives, we will all lose love. What then? Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

2018: The Year of Open Doors

As we approach the mid-point of the year, most New Year’s resolutions are a faint and distant memory. But what if 2018 could still become “The Year of Open Doors” for you? Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Sit Among Your Weeds

Today I start with a confession: I’ve been struggling. Weeds are the straw that broke the camel’s (my) back, so to speak. The last little burden that became unbearable. But from my weeds emerged a transformative message from God… Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Consider My Bluebonnets

Bluebonnets are to Texas what tulips are to Holland, azaleas are to Augusta, and cherry blossoms are to Washington DC. But what makes bluebonnets so remarkable is that they’re WILD. These words came to mind: “Consider how the wildflowers grow…” Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

A Promise from God

Whether our requests are big or small, at some point we all wonder if God hears us. Does the Creator of the universe care about our prayers for a new job, loneliness, a persistent cough, or help paying bills? In a word: Yes! Not only does He care, He promises so much more. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

The Intersection of Faith and Work

We all work. Our workplaces may look different, but they share a commonality: intrinsic value to God’s Kingdom. Your work has eternal value. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Which Way Did He Go?

We can’t focus on both Jesus AND circumstances. It’s impossible! If we choose to focus on circumstances, suddenly it’s as if Jesus is gone. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Why “Do Good” For No Reason?

We genuinely want to help others. But it hurts when there’s no response or, worse, a bad response to our good efforts. So why keep trying? Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

When Enough is Never Enough

When was the last time you had everything you wanted? Splurge to lift your spirits. Save for something big. What is enough, really? Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

Cross the Starting Line - Just Start!

Is it harder to cross the starting line or the finish line? We often don’t move forward because we’re too afraid of the unknown. Just start! Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
2 Comments

Getting What You Ask For and More

If a fairy godmother was standing in front of you right now tapping her glittery wand, what would you ask for? What’s your #1 wish? Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

What Would Your Last Words Be?

If you knew you were going to die and you could speak to a group of people, what would you say? This is the story of Rachel Barkey, age 37. Continue reading

Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories, Sisterhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment

I Am Second

We push hard to be first but we’re broadsided by reality. Life can stink! New life is possible once we stop trying to control our destiny. Continue reading

Fun, Growth, Hope & Healing, Real Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Post a Comment