A little while ago we were in a desperate sort of situation. It was not a life or death scenario, but it was something which felt overwhelming for us as a family.

The one morning as I was praying about what to do, I had worship music playing in the background, and songs of trust and surrender kept popping up on my Spotify playlist. You know the ones that call us to trust even when we don’t understand why something is happening or trust when things don’t go our way. There is nothing wrong with these songs, and God has used them to speak to me many times in the past. Yet, on this particular morning, I sensed God saying something different. It was not time to surrender or to give up,

instead it was time to fight.

In prayer.

“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens…” Ecc 3:1

The word “fight” is not really one of those words I use regularly in my vocabulary. I like to think of myself as more of a peacekeeper than a warrior. I grew up in the peace-focused Mennonite church. I really have no reference point on how to fight or fight in prayer. It is not just the fight part I struggle with. It is the prayer.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14,15

My struggle with prayer lie in the tension of “name it and claim it” prayers vs. “God’s will be done” prayers. The one type of prayer feels like it depends on my effort while the other one feels like I do not need to take responsibility at all.

How do I know when I should press in, fight in prayer and use faith to move mountains or when it is time to surrender, simply rest and trust, or simply stand and let God fight? There are examples of each in the Bible, so how do I know which one to use?

What stuck out to me as I was praying, was the part of the 1 John verses that says, “…that if we ask anything according to his will.”

As I heard God’s whisper that morning, “it was not time to give up or come up with a different plan, but it was time to fight for this one thing,” I had such a peace that this fight in prayer was his will for that moment. It was the nudge I needed to keep going and believing. In the back of my mind I still worried, what if our prayers were not answered? However in that moment, the call to fight was stronger than my doubt and fears.

God answered our desperate prayer. I know this is not always the case…to receive an answer hoped for. Yet for me in that moment, it was so much more than just an answered prayer, it was the encouragement and faith to keep going then and in the midst of future battles.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…a time for war and a time for peace…He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8, 11

I saw God today,

in the fight.

“Noble” faith


I watched a movie the other evening I had been wanting to see for some time. It is called,


after the main character’s last name. It is the inspiring story of Christina Noble. The movie weaves together Christina’s past as an orphaned child with her work later in life to help orphaned children in Vietnam. There were many parts of the movie which stirred me, and I knew they would. But because I knew little about Christina before watching this movie there was one aspect of the story I was not expecting.

It was one of faith.

I do not want to give pieces of the movie away, because I think you should watch it, but this much I do want to share. Christina did not have an easy life. Anything but. Time after time, she experienced pain, loss, hurt, and disappointment. And time after time the movie shows her walking into church, lighting a candle, and talking to God. She was honest about her pain, her doubts, and whether she could even follow him. But she did not walk away. In her honesty, she continued to go and look for God, and she continued to talk to him. In fact one of the last lines in the movie was…

“She still talks to God…”

And this made me stop and think, maybe the most incredible act of faith is not the kind which moves mountains, or raises the dead. Maybe it is simply the kind that will come back, time after time and talk to God, sharing each hurt and disappointment.

“Though He slay me, yet will I hope in him;” Job 13:15

I saw God today, in faith.

“She still talks to God…”

What does faith look like for you today?

Letting Go


One of my favorite family movies is Finding Nemo. I love the way the dad lovingly chases after his son, and goes to the ends of the earth to find him and bring him home. There are many parts of the movie I can relate to, but one conversation in particular between Marlin and Dory has stuck with me. Lately I have been hearing these words over and over in my everyday. In this scene Marlin and Dory are stuck in the belly of a whale, and life is looking pretty miserable. Here is a short piece of their conversation…

Dory: “He says its time to let go. Everything is going to be all right.”

Marlin: “How do you know? How do you know something bad isn’t going to happen?”

Dory: “I don’t.”

And those of you who have seen the movie know Dory and Marlin let go, and the whale spouts them out, and everything is okay. In fact, they end up exactly where they want to be, in Sydney.

Like Marlin, we as parents are given this little gift to take care of, and for most of our child’s life we are the ones calling the shots. For those of us moms especially, who like to have all our ducks in a row; this works out just fine…until that day when the duckling is ready to leave the pond. Or when things do not go as planned, and we do not get the happy ending Marlin and Nemo got.

This year as both my girls are in high school and the older one is in her senior year; I seem to keep banging my head up against this “letting go”. When the girls were younger, I would not have necessarily called myself controlling ūüėČ or felt like I was holding on too tightly. It was not until recently I began to see just how much I really do need to let go.

In wanting what is best for our children, we may try to influence their choices such as friends, where they go, what they study, etc. There is nothing wrong with this per say. It is our job as parents to influence and advise. Yet I am starting to see there has to be a point where we are listening more than talking. A place where our lives are not quite as intertwined, always suggesting this or questioning that. I am again reminded there is one who does this so much better Рthe Holy Spirit.

If we¬†as parents¬†need to trust God’s Spirit, don’t our children need to trust His leading as well? And if we are the ones always leading, how will our children learn to hear His guidance, His voice?

I am grateful this process happens slowly, in stages… first job, driver’s license, making their own decisions and choices, and eventually leaving home.

So… my challenge for myself (you can hold me accountable if you see me:)¬†and for you today is to,

Talk less. Pray More. And Let go.

I saw God today, in letting go.

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” – Luke 11:13

His way, not mine


About once a year or so, I seem to journey down the same path. The “what is my purpose, and what am I doing with my life?” path. I am not sure why I never seem to find the answer, and these questions reoccur yearly. I often blame it on lack of a specific talent or calling, and sometimes I end up complaining to God, asking “Why couldn’t you have created me with a specific gift like the artist who I work for or my husband with his gift of teaching?”

Thankfully, I do not seem to be alone in my questioning. There are myriads of books and courses out there covering this exact topic, and many of them I have read. The words and thoughts at times were helpful. A thought or sentence stuck with me and I found peace and contentment for some time. Eventually though that nagging little question would make its way back into my head again.

The other week as these questions were once again swirling around in my thoughts, I read a verse in Proverbs, one I had read many times before.

“The Lord has made everything for His own purposes….” – Proverbs 16:4

His purposes vs. mine.

Maybe it is not a matter of finding my passion, narrowing it down, or even asking the question, “what is my purpose?”

God has not made me for my plans.

If I do insist on finding answers, I can instead ask the questions, “What are your purposes God, in general and for me personally?” What would you have me to today? How are your purposes for this day similar or different to mine?

These two views may not seem so different, but for me it is a shift from figuring out my life and what fulfills me to focusing on God and what is important to Him. This is where I find fulfillment, this is where I find rest.

I saw God today, in His way not mine.

What do His purposes look like for you today?

Winter trees


The Sacrament of Letting Go
by Macrina Wiedekehr

she celebrated the sacrament of letting go.
First she surrendered her green,
then the orange, yellow, and red.
finally she let go of her own brown.
Shedding her last leaf
she stood empty and silent, stripped bare.
Leaning against the winter sky,
she began her vigil of trust.

Shedding her last leaf,
she watched it journey to the ground.
She stood in silence
wearing the colors of emptiness,
her branches wondering,
How do you give shade with so much gone?

And then,
the sacrament of waiting began.
The sunrise and the sunset watched with tenderness.
Clothing her with silhouettes
that kept her hope alive.

They helped her to understand that
her vulnerability,
her dependence and need,
her emptiness, her readiness to receive,
were giving her a new kind of Beauty.
Every morning and every evening they stood in silence,
and celebrated together
the sacrament of waiting.

Yesterday as I biked to work, I watched as colorful leaves danced and swirled, bidding their final goodbyes. The warmth of this season is slowly coming to an end. Despite my love of winter, there is always a bit of sadness as the last few leaves fall quietly to the ground.

The last couple of years though, I have come to appreciate this season of in-between. This time after color and before the quiet dusting of winter settles onto the tree. There is something incredibly beautiful in the simple skeleton of a tree.

At first glance, the tree void of its colorful leaves may seem to be empty of beauty. A  closer look however, reveals an underlying strength and elegance that would not have been visible were it not for the bareness of the tree.

No one likes to feel empty, to stand naked in a sense with nothing to show.   And even though we enter the world with nothing, and will leave it in the same way, we want the in-between to be filled with something.  We want lives filled with meaning, covered in beauty.  To this end, we try and fill our life with things that we think will make us more attractive, our merits and badges.  All the while, God is gently stripping us bare, revealing the beauty that is already there.

So today, I am learning from winter trees.

I am okay with empty.

I will rest, wait, and trust.

I will trust, that God is always turning our formless and empty into something beautiful.

“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” Genesis 1:2





I am never more aware of another person’s story as when they are a new acquaintance to me.¬† When I meet someone for the first time, it is as if there is this blank page standing in front of me.¬† There is no history, no preconceived ideas, no opinions, or thoughts about the person, until we spend time together, and the pages of their story start to fill.

A week or so ago, I attended a writer’s retreat at a wonderful little place in the hills of Virginia called God’s Whisper Farm.¬†¬† I packed home with me many thoughts and ideas.¬† And the one part of the weekend that stretched me the most, being in a group of new people, was the part of the weekend I most enjoyed.¬† It was listening to new friends share, it was hearing their stories.

During one of the writing sessions where we wrote about what writing is to us, I was reminded there is no life that is not worth sharing.¬† As long we have breath, our life has a story to tell.¬† When we listen to or share in each others’ stories, we not only give our attention, we give each other a sense of validity.¬† Our story is important.¬† Our life really is worth telling. ¬† This is one of the aspects I love about writing, about reading, and about art.¬† It is lifting out the good in people, It is seeing God in them.¬† This is what I saw that weekend, and what I am seeing today.

I Saw God today, in story.

What part of your story can you share today?  Or better yet help another tell theirs?



IMG_2529 (photo: aeoberg)

I watch mesmerized as wave after wave roll up and down the shoreline.¬† I sit and gaze at this simple dance for hours. What is its secret?¬† The wave’s ability to calm and leave one spellbound.¬† Is it the simplicity of its rhythm?

As we pull up to our rented beach house, I am grateful for the couple of days we will spend here.  Life at the beach has its own rhythm, distinct from our rhythm at home.  It is slow.  It is simple.

We build sandcastles and swim.

We read books and swim.

We munch on snacks and swim.

We bike our way around town and swim.

We dance with the waves and swim.

There is comfort in the simplicity, and comfort in the rhythm.¬† These are the places to gain strength, before or after life’s disruptions.¬† As I read of Noah this morning, I thought if anyone experienced a life disruption, he was one of them.¬† One hundred and fifty days on a boat, a flood that wiped out everyone and everything he knew.¬† And at the end of this incredible story, God’s words of comfort, were words of rhythm.

“I will never again destroy all living things.¬† As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” Genesis 8:21, 22(NLT)

Rhythms and patterns. Planting and Harvest.

Comfort and a promise.

God’s love rolling in with the rhythm of the waves.

I saw God today in rhythms.

What rhythms are you thankful for?



Yesterday my daughters and I spent the day helping a friend with her flower business.  We dressed five hundred roses, who were making their debut at various dance recitals this weekend.

As we carefully packaged each flower, the words I read earlier in the day came to life.

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life…Look at the birds.¬† They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them.¬† And aren’t you far more valuable to him then they are?¬† Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing?¬† Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow.¬† They don’t work or make their clothing… if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.¬†¬† Why do you have so little faith? …Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously…don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.¬† Today’s trouble is enough for today.”¬† Matthew 6:25-34 (NLT)

Worries some days can pile up quickly.¬† A sick child, a lost job, a change in the physical seasons, or a transition in life’s seasons. ¬† All of these can trigger and lay new foundations for worry.¬† Even though these worries are a part of our journey, it seems as if we are not to let our eyes or hearts linger there.¬† I see Jesus asking us to shift our focus from our worry, to his creation, to him.¬† It is as if he has left us a trail of reminders along our path, helping us find our way.

A flower filled field.  Towering trees.  Birds flying freely.  A wooded path.  All of which call me to slow down and breathe deep.

God reminding, no need to worry.  He takes care.

If God cares for All of his creation, does that not include you and me?

I Saw God today, in flowers.

What is God reminding you?



Years ago I heard a story of a Polish Franciscan friar. ¬†He was imprisoned in the concentration camps of Auschwitz after giving shelter to refugees, many of them Jews, during World War II. ¬†In his days at the camp, three men went missing.¬† In response to this, the Gestapo¬† decided that ten men would be put to death as an example to others in the camp of what happens when someone tries to escape.¬† As they called forward the men whose lives were to be sacrificed, one of the men cried out, speaking of his wife, his children. ¬†Hearing this, the Polish Friar, Maximilian Kolbe, offered to take the man’s place, and amazingly enough the German soldiers allowed the exchange to take place.

As Maximilian stepped forward, and the man he replaced, Franciszek Gajowniczek, slipped back into the crowd, I wonder what effect this sacrifice had on Gajowniczek’s life.¬† Did he live the rest of his life differently because of this incredible act of kindness?

“Live like someone died for you.” – Lecrae

Lecrae’s words summarize it so well.¬† Are we living life, really living?¬† Like Gajowniczek,we have someone who paid a¬† high price for our lives ,not only so we could survive or make it through this life, but so we could fully live.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus in John 10:10

I did read a little about Gajowniczek’s life.¬† Once a year he traveled back to Auschwitz to pay tribute to the man who saved his life.¬† A yearly trip to remember and to honor.

Am I living life differently in remembrance of the man who saved me?  Most days I do not, I live forgetting.  What would it look like instead to live fully, to live remembering, and to pay tribute not only once a year but every day to Jesus, who sacrificed everything for me?

My hope is I would:

fear less

risk more

criticize less

encourage more

take less offense

forgive more

and above all deeply love.

“Live like someone died for you.” – Lecrae

I Saw God today, in living

What does that look like for you, today?









I saw God today, in sharing.

Today a friend shared with me her potato seed.¬† She had more than enough for her own garden so when she heard I was hoping to plant potatoes, she generously offered me her leftover seed.¬† Her kindness reminded me of another friend’s generosity years ago.¬† It was under very different circumstances, yet the outcome was the same.¬† I saw more of God’s¬† heart through the goodness of a friend.

When my husband and I were newly married, just young students starting out, we did not have much that we could call our own.  We were two people living on what was then considered income for one.  I remember one morning as I opened our pantry door and stared and stared at it.  Our pantry had been close to empty before, but this month seemed especially desperate.  As I stood there hoping God would again perform that miracle of multiplication, the one with the fish and bread, the prayer Jesus taught his disciples came to mind.

“…give us today our daily bread” Matthew 6:11

I prayed that simple prayer and went about my day.¬† Later that afternoon a friend of ours stopped by, holding a shopping bag.¬† As she saw my look of surprise she said, ” I know this seems crazy but I bought groceries today, and I thought maybe I was supposed to share them with you.”¬† She did not know the prayer I had prayed earlier that day. ¬† I told her of our need (in which she gave us the rest of her groceries) and the verse I had prayed, and it seemed as if those words blessed her as much as her groceries had blessed us just moments before.

Sharing and receiving, a mutual blessing.

Is there something God is nudging you to share today?¬† Some groceries, a helping hand, or a word of encouragement?¬† Give it a whirl! ¬† You might just be God’s answer to someone’s prayer.