Light and Truth

14 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  

Matthew 5:14-16

As I read and reread Matthew 5, I am seriously struck by the weight of such an assignment. I’ve heard these verses a million times- they’re such a critical piece of the faith of my childhood, used to remind us to be joyful and kind, etc, etc.

The truth is, there is so much more to His light.  Jesus is speaking to the crowd, the famed sermon on the mount, debated by scholars as to whether it was one sermon or an anthology of teachings, but nonetheless powerful and unchanged in message.

The Beatitudes precede this statement and this whole segment on being the light. Through them, there are both seemingly negative and positive things happening.  ‘Blessed are those who mourn’ and ‘Blessed are the righteous’ along with many others.  If you boil them all down, Christ is shedding light that we are blessed for our obedience to God no matter our circumstance.  

Jesus goes on to warn us by illuminating why we are to stay true in our obedience to God:

You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and tramped on by men.

Matthew 5:13

Who wants to be just a granule of salt with no flavor (essentially dirt)?!

How amazing is it that Jesus not only gives us a directive but says it in the form of a perfect demonstration of it! Verse 14, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” He was saying that to each of us!  Don’t just read this as “light of the world” blah blah blah. Close your eyes and hear your savior saying it directly to you.  Let the thought of Him saying that to the messy, imperfect you resonate in your soul and feel the energy and power He is speaking into the lives of those who hear and receive what He is saying.

Light and Truth are not always easy and joyful for us.  Just like Jesus, we have to live out truth no matter our station in life.  God is just as present in the sickness, the sadness, the bankruptcy and the affair as He is in the new baby, the marriage, and the job offer.  In our time here, we have to strive to be just as unmoved by the winds of change in this world.  That steadfastness is not logical to the world, and that steadfastness and peace is what reminds the world that our creator is near and His hand is on all things for good.



a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.




Living in Exile

How many of us feel like we wake up in the morning to a world gone mad?  Good is bad, bad is good, and your own personal safety can be at risk simply because of your belief system.

It’s so easy to be angry. I find myself questioning how we got here, and looking at my littles and wondering what they will be up against- thinking about what they are already up against.

The only thing I have chosen to speak over my house is scripture and love.  I never understood just how easily we become, as a dear friend always says, two degrees off.  That two degrees out of God’s will is enough for the next generation and for all of our interactions and relationships to begin to be further and further from the beautiful plan our father has for us.

This morning, I found myself in Jeremiah 29 and verse 7 had never jumped at me until today.  In all the anger and attempted avoidance of the world,  I am being called to spread his Love. How often to I pray for my city, my country? Not enough.  This struck me that no matter the happenings or beliefs of the world around me, He has called me to pray and trust His plan for the rest. It’s easy to lay down the sword when the battle is His every day.

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (1)

Proverbs 31- Not for Weenies

Have you ever heard someone talk about the Proverbs 31 woman and thought ‘I could never be her’?  I always thought it meant being a meek and sweet woman who kind of baked and cleaned the house and was ok with whatever her husband said.  


Well fast forward a bit, and God has really convicted me about who He made me to be.  None of it is meek or mild.  He needs forces in the world.  If you are a woman on the verge sometimes, like me, then He made you that way to drive the change He needs to glorify Him.  We have a purpose!

Our walk comes with precision.  We have great people like husbands and those who came before us to guide us in addition to His word, and what better word than the proverbs 31 woman.  Once I started digging in, I learned she is a serious force to be reckoned with and she does not stop moving.  Everything she does is efficient and effective and her whole world is blessed by it.  Who wouldn’t want to do that?!  That’s exactly why we get so fired up, isn’t it?  We want to change things, to win the battles and to make it all worth while.  That is the Proverbs 31 woman, so if you are like me, and have long fallen asleep when thinking about the religious view of a woman, read it for yourself and be fired up today!

Here it is verse by verse, with what God laid on my heart in reading it with new eyes:

31 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!

   Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!

3 Do not spend your strength[a] on women,

   your vigor on those who ruin kings.

-We have to be careful as firestarters not to become dangerous women or road blocks to God’s work.

4 It is not for kings, Lemuel—

   it is not for kings to drink wine,

   not for rulers to crave beer,

5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,

   and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.

6 Let beer be for those who are perishing,

   wine for those who are in anguish!

7 Let them drink and forget their poverty

   and remember their misery no more.

-We are not called to sloth.

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,

   for the rights of all who are destitute.

9 Speak up and judge fairly;

   defend the rights of the poor and needy.

-We are called to protect the innocent and go to the aid of others.


Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

This is an acrostic of the Hebrew alphabet, so this is the A to Z, if you will of who we were created to be!

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?

   She is worth far more than rubies.

-We are called to have noble character, strong in our values

11 Her husband has full confidence in her

   and lacks nothing of value.

-He has full confidence in her. We SHOW UP. We are present and trustworthy.

12 She brings him good, not harm,

   all the days of her life.

-We can be trusted to do our part.  It says we ‘bring good.’ We have to make the good happen.

13 She selects wool and flax

   and works with eager hands.

-These items are not delivered to her. We go out and bring in what is good, what is a comforting. We are excited to go out and do.

14 She is like the merchant ships,

   bringing her food from afar.

-Women of noble character go out into the field. They do what it takes to feed others and take care of the needs of their houses. The merchant ships piece of this is critical to understanding what we are called to do.  Merchant Ships are not pirates, taking whatever they want, and they do not do it alone. Merchant Ships go out into foreign lands, they build relationships with those they don’t know and they used their skills to obtain the things they needed.  We, like the merchant ships, must go out and use our gifts to care for our families and to change the lives of those in need. We are not called to go out and take it or scream until it is handed to us. Merchant Ships also spread their culture and belief system through their relational trade.

15 She gets up while it is still night;

   she provides food for her family

   and portions for her female servants.

-So many scripture references about God’s feelings on being idle.  This is no different. Prov. 6:6-11 God just goes off on laziness. As Christ following women, we rise to help others rise above. We provide through our work and we must begin early to ensure everything is tended to.  If we all sat out, would it make a point that the world needed us.  But at what cost to our children, our husbands and everyone around us we serve does that selfish move the needle.  Pray for the hearts of the offenders, the users, the abusers, and the nonbelievers to broken open wide for Christ so that they are personally convicted to change their outlooks and actions. Pray they commit to a savior versus complying with mob.  We are called to rise and rise above!


16 She considers a field and buys it;

   out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

-We contemplate the ramifications of our actions and what God has called us to do. We use our earnings to do things- what is in our reserves. We do not make decisions that will put a strain on our houses.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;

   her arms are strong for her tasks.

-We stick with a task and follow through.  Women of noble character do not give up or walk out on their commitments.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,

   and her lamp does not go out at night.

-Women of character trust God will provide and use God’s word to be the lamp into her feet.  We use His word as our only guiding light in the darkness around us.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff

   and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

-We are above no menial task and we set the example with our work ethic.

20 She opens her arms to the poor

   and extends her hands to the needy.

-We labor not only to provide for our own families, but we also work to personally provide for those in need.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;

   for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

We trust God’s plan. We will be provided for and warm. Not only will our families be warm, but dressed in the color of warmth, delighting in it.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;

   she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

-We make our own way, and God blesses us for our hard work.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,

   where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

-We are properly positioned in our homes.  Our husbands are proud of who we are and they feel empowered and supported by our strength.  We are the Esthers.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,

   and supplies the merchants with sashes.

We produce a good product to share with the world.  Whatever our work, it is exceptional, and worthy of sharing. We make ourselves indispensable.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;

   she can laugh at the days to come.

My FAVE verse- a reminder of what God gives us to move through this life in proper placement. Being clothed in strength and dignity.  We NEVER part with them. He is with us and we are living in His word and empowered by that. We can experience joy because we have a peace that surpasses all understanding. We do not walk angry or downtrodden, because we make our own way.  We get up every day and know that His plan will prevail in our lives.

26 She speaks with wisdom,

   and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

We think things through.  We speak carefully and we are guided by God’s word. Our message is constant and clear.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household

   and does not eat the bread of idleness.

We are constantly revisiting the word and looking for new ways to help our families.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;

   her husband also, and he praises her:

We are honored by our families, because we honor our families.

29 “Many women do noble things,

   but you surpass them all.”

  We are honored for our hard work by our families.

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

   but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

We can only be true to who we were created to be if we fear God.  All else false away with our submission to His will, and under His authority are we truly made whole and noble.

31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,

   and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Our hard work will pay off.  We must be prepared to run the long race as we will be blessed either in this life or the next for continuing to move forward. When we see our heavenly father’s face and hear the words ‘well done’

The Beauty of the Uprising

I cried yesterday.  I sat in a little sandwich shop having lunch with my family in Charleston, SC, and I looked at a television screen and found myself weeping. My three year old excitedly asked if the Gamecocks were about to play when he saw my stare and the large crowds.

As I responded no, it hit me- my son saw me moved and assumed it was over sports! I’ve clearly been doing something wrong.

Because of various views backed by the marches (I’m not getting into it because those causes and opinions are not where my focus lies today), I chose to ignore yesterday and treat things as a normal day. I had no place in them but I was thankful to see we seem to be alive and awake again as humans. I was thankful because in that moment, watching my babies eat lunch, God said ‘STOP.’

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

-Rev 3:15-16

That verse has come crashing over me since that moment. Stop pretending that you are okay and that everyone is living to the fullest and it will all be wonderful because it can never be on this Earth. I watched these women and men passionately crying out for their causes, for their voices, and I had chosen to go appliance shopping instead of following my own convictions and spending that time raising my hands in praise and prayer to the One over all creation; prayer that He would take it all into His hands and reign over us; that we would drop our causes and turn to the cross, because through Him all will be properly positioned.

In that moment, God said, “You have spent so long dancing  within the lines of earthly love and social acceptance that you believe you’ve gone as far as you can in this, but I’ve equipped you and so many believers for more and it is time that you answer the call.

The beauty of the palpable energy in the air right now is this: we cannot sit on the shore safely from the waves any longer. No matter you’re feeling, your occupation, your upbringing, it is nearly impossible to be lukewarm.

Silence in this moment puts everything at risk.  As beautiful women of God, if there was ever a time to rise up in fierce faith, the time is now.  We must put on those fabulous gowns of armor (I mean, a gown just sounds so much more comfortable for a fight, being able to tie it up or spin around in it) and go out into our own battlefields. Our children and the world’s knowledge of our faith depends on it.

I know now just how unpopular my thoughts may seem, but I no longer am afraid.  For the sake of my relationships that may be sacrificed, I want them to know I Love them enough to risk everything to tell you about my God and the beautiful peace that surpasses all understanding. While the world is full of fear, confusion and anger, He is steadfast and loving and reminds us that these moments are barely noticeable in the span of eternity.


I believe in the Bible and everything in it. I unapologetically accept it and know that in doing so, I am condemning myself for my sin.  I also know that redemption is available to all who believe, and if I don’t speak now about my faith while the world is crying out, I don’t know what it would take for me to do so, and then I would truly be lukewarm.

We are all down in the tranches battling for our causes, when we only need to turn our eyes upward to the cross.

Election Smellection

Who loves election season?! Yeah, crickets.  I am soooo over it.  I can’t even fine the best vine videos or pics of people’s kids on Facebook, through all of the whining and personal jabbing about politics.


I will give some street cred to the people who are trying to put some above bar thought out there and analysis on the whole situation, but let’s face it, I’m not going to Facebook to connect on a deeper intellectual level, so I’m prob not going to list it in the sources of my next great political thesis.

That all being said, it’s super tough to know what is right as a believer when it comes to politics. That whole WWJD situation tends to fly out the window when the mud starts slinging- especially if you have a candidate who you feel is the clear choice.

What a beautiful mess that Satan has created by taking something designed to help, unify and protect God’s people, government, and turned it into the exact opposite (just like he does with everything).  We find ourselves this election a people divided, angry, personally offended.

All of that aside, what does the Bible actually say about civil government?

Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens   Exodus 18:21

You may read that and have a specific candidate in mind.  You may read that and think, ‘CRAP! Now I have no one.’ No matter what you think, our job as His people is to pray and uplift our leader and trust God’s hand on it.

Look at Kings in the old testament, all the kings, if you will. In the whole of the Old Testament there is an ebb and flow of man doing well obeying God and then getting smacked back down to the reality of how small he was because he would begin to think he could do it on his own. This happened again and again and again, and they never learned. Why, because they were people! We know better than to put so much faith into people, and we have to be the ones who remember that, that everyone is flawed and we all fall short.

What we can do now is pray for our leaders, pray for God’s hand on who our leader becomes and pray for the heart of that leader.  Pray that our new leader speaks and believes in truth, and pray that for all levels of your government.

What will I do? For whom will my ballot be cast?  At this moment, I honestly don’t know, but I do know I am praying for clear direction, and for my shallow kid picture viewing to stop being interrupted so much by all the rants 😉

Give Like There’s No One Else

Recently, I was in a meeting and a charity came up someone had heard about in another town. The concept was simple and it was an event completely structured for the group at the table.  We were all well-equipped and excited about the idea. Keep in mind, in this meeting we were trying to select a new charitable activity for the group.

1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Someone suggested we host a similar event here.  The head of the meeting immediately shot it down, and said “we’ll just wait until that group comes here to do one.”  No one batted an eyelash.  I chimed in questioning why we would wait on a simple idea we could handle that would help many, and I was told they knew the way to do it, so when they started doing things here, then we could get involved. Wait. WHAT?

This logic is everywhere and it’s KILLING me.  The following just occurred and it is apparently normal logic?!

  1. We saw a need
  2. We had the tools to address said need
  3. We had people excited to help and a clear plan of action
  4. We chose to ignore the need because we expect an organization to eventually address it for us and maybe we can help?!

Am I being punked?  We were given everything we needed to help, but chose to wait for someone else to come along and do it.

It’s easy to not give and to hide your gifts when you don’t have to connect with your service.  How hungry would the world be if we all put a face and name on it.  Would you could a meal for 8 instead of 4 every night, if you knew their names and they lived next door?  You would figure that out, but we don’t want to share the pain, the discomfort.

I see so many political posts about wanting more government programs to fix this problem and that problem.  My question is “what are YOU waiting for?”  If you feel so passionately that a group or issue should be helped, how are you personally connecting to the problem, pouring your time or assets in to fixing it and actively looking for solutions?

Don’t bury your talent.  Don’t be that sad wasted gift.  Sitting in that room in that moment, it couldn’t have been clearer that I would, from that day forward. be incessantly hounded by serving where I could.  I pray the same for you 😀

Change is Hard (but so is everything).

19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19


I was 27, had taken a big promotion at a young age, and thought nothing could go wrong- then everything did.  I was one of those people who didn’t need God, because life was so good in some ways.  A six figure income in your twenties is the dream, right? There were a lot of contributing factors to everything that led to my abrupt look at what mattered, but essentially, I had to be so worn out to see what mattered and to see the core of God’s creation in me, that I had to leave that whole life behind. I found myself working over 100 hours a week every week, at odds with a new boss, and enslaved to the choices I had made to get ahead versus live. It was like ‘yay, I can buy all the shoes I want. boo, am I going to walk around my house in them, because I haven’t taken the time to make friends or go anywhere other than the office.’  It was not a life, y’all!

When everything changes in an instant and you are grounded in faith, you are miserable.  I was adrift in a hurricane inside, but around me, people were, well, living like nothing was happening.  I finally understood why people said they wanted to scream sometimes! I remember the moment my boss stopped in to chat, and I looked at him and said, “I can’t do this anymore,” and I walked out.  Miss goody goody wannabe overachiever just broke and said “PEACE!”  I was devastated as I got into the car, but then, it was beautiful.  I can still hear the long sigh I let out and it was gone. There was this relief and freedom like I had never felt before.  I mean, durh, I had a mortgage and stressful stuff, but I was taking a step toward a different life.

I look back now and know God had decided it was time to bring me back to Him.  There was a better, fuller life I didn’t know waiting, and had I continued along, I would have never seen it.  Why is it that we are so afraid to just change.  Even when things suck, we just are build to dig in more.  The funniest part is, many of us have experienced His grace and the outcome of obedience in change.  The next time it comes around, though, it’s like we can’t remember that He held us through the last one and is making a better place for us.  When the time comes to change lanes to get back to His grace or to receive a blessing that may come from hardship, may you not be afraid to put on your blinker and follow Him to the new road.  He will not lead you astray, and you will be better for it!

For Such a Time as This

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14


Do you ever feel like the momentum is building and things are moving toward a point, and you can feel the excitement, or at least you hope it’s excitement for something good, because something good has to happen for everything that’s going on, and you feel like you’re just going to explode if there isn’t some amazing rainbow ahead, because aah! Don’t worry girl, you aren’t alone!

That’s simply the frightening stream of consciousness that happens in my brain.  It’s easy to feel sometimes like the hamster running on the wheel, and that you think you’re getting somewhere but in reality, you’re just the definition of insanity.

I’ve got news for you.  God never intended us to be unfulfilled and purposeless.  There is a point, and if we aren’t careful, we might miss an opportunity to grow, help others, or be blessed by His plan.

You see I’ve spent plenty of time in the desert, and Esther spent plenty of time preparing for some day she wasn’t sure would even come.  Miracle of miracles, the one in a million opportunity came, and because she prepared and walked in His plan, she was ready, and succeeded in being part of a miracle.

It’s hard to feel like you could be Esther when your kid pees on you, you’re late for work and you get in the car to find out you’re out of gas, but the simple truth is, God sends us through trials to be stronger and to be more aware of the opportunities around us. The problem is only compounded by just watching the news.  It’s all frightening and it’s all larger than we are. Because it isn’t always easy, we will value every victory that much more, and hopefully be thankful for them.

Whatever is happening in your world right now, remember that it could all be preparing you for “such a time as this.”  Lord knows, sometimes it’s what keeps me going through the day.  You are made for purpose and whether you see it or not, it is there!Stick to the plan.png

Messes are Hot (so I like to think)

Phillipians 2:3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Who the Heck are the Hisses?! I sat at the kitchen island, pen in hand, ready to knock out some FANTASTIC Christmas cards.  Yes, they may have been a midnight rush order via some online greeting card site with a skip-the-proof-just-get-those-blasted-pieces-of-paper-here option, but it was way better than my etiquette fail of the prior year- sending out nothing.


I had stamps and a mailing list, so when that box arrived, I was ready to look as perfect southern mama as ever with multiple photos on the postcard and smiling babies to boot. As I opened the box, I was pleased that the pic on the front looked not crazy blurry from the online impulse buy, but my smugness faded as I noticed a nice little blemish by way of OUR LAST FREAKING NAME being wrong on the back (with a blurry photo)! I mean, people do dumb stuff, but it takes a new level of special to misspell your own name.

In that moment, I could choose to be angry or rebuy for a million more dollars or freak out, but here’s the truth: deep down, I knew everything about this made this the most accurate card anyone would receive.  We are a beautiful, ridiculous mess. Where in the world would we be without some beautiful messes, after all?

While I wanted the world to see one thing, God knew everyone needed us for who He made us to be- crazy and funny and real.

Phillipians 2:3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

I spent a crap ton (technical term) of time in my life trying to seem perfect.  OCD cleaning, blowing UP some credit cards on looking the best and having the best; it all got me nowhere. The truth is, though, there is such beauty in the mess.

In Phillipians, He makes it so clear!  Why do we feel today that we have to walk around being something we’re not, pretending to agree with things we don’t?!  Not only, are we stressing ourselves out, but God made us to be these beautiful messes with the choice to make mistakes, because He wants us to choose to love Him back, and if we all make mistakes, then we are that much more capable of being approachable to each other. We are also, through the knowledge of our shared faults, able to challenge each other to be better out of Love.

All I’m saying is that Christmas card taught me a lot.  To lighten up, laugh and let me freak flag fly.  Y’all pray for me, because I’m a hot mess, and it’s okay for you to be one, too!


Do you have the Stones?

I couldn’t help myself with the title.  I’m wrong like that.

But it’s so true!  Being freed from sin and the desert to walk into your Promised Land is not this happy-go-lucky skip through a field of daisies.


It’s more like a mud run.You are fighting to get away from the old life, the bondage of the lies you’ve been told by the world. The voices, a lot of times our own, that say ‘that isn’t important.’ or ‘Who told you, you were made to be more?’

We’ve already decided to get out of the desert.  We’re not going to hang on to the problems that we allow to be problems anymore. When you reach that point, you’re ready for whatever comes next.

Israel reached their point of absolute faith.  I don’t want to wander 40 years to do it, but then again, some people wander a life time. When God said it was time to cross the Jordan, those people, all 12 tribes, were ready without question. They followed every command down to the very last detail and they crossed the Jordan.  God said he would part the waters and He did.  The priests were to carry the ark of the covenant into the water first, and they did. The 12 men representing the 12 tribes were to go back and pull stones from the riverbed and they did.  The people were delivered, because they were freed completely of doing it their own way.  All they had left was trust, so they were prepared for God’s plan.

It takes so long for us to get to that point, unfortunately, so once we’re there and we feel God moving and speaking, how do we hold onto it?  It’s amazing how quickly we move on as humans.  We forget the trauma and the hours of prayer in the tough times, and all of a sudden, we are back to attempting to call the shots on our own, thinking we know better than our Creator.

21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over.” Joshua 4:21-23

We’ve got to have the stones to move forward. How do we remind ourselves of the hardship we were delivered through, if we don’t keep ourselves in check and revisit the times in our lives when God came in bigger than ever before and handed you a miracle on a silver platter or spoke so loudly you could practically hear His voice.


The 12 men selected the stones and carried them all the way to camp just so they could look on them and remember, and tell their children of how God moved and how they obeyed.  How much further can God take us if we actually learned from each path He takes us down?

Once you’ve got the stones in place, you’ve learned to trust, and if you remember and retain what you’ve learned, you are opened up to allow God to take you so much further than ever before.  Get some stones and move on!