God is Sending You Love Notes. Have You Been Noticing?

God is Sending You Love Notes. Have You Been Noticing?

Not long ago, I was driving down the road on a bright winter day when movement on the shoulder ahead caught my eye. At first I thought it might be a fox. I slowed down to take a look and quickly realized that the animal was too big to be a fox. Was it a dog…? As it trotted across the road, my heart jumped. I saw, to my shock, that it was a lynx!

I’m sure my eyes were bulging like a startled pug’s. I’ve never seen a wild lynx, and I had long been asking God to let me see one of these stealthy forest cats…

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When You Know God Loves You, But You Don't Feel It

When You Know God Loves You, But You Don't Feel It

I grew up knowing about God’s love. My pastors preached about it at church, my teachers taught about it at school, and I read about it in my Bible. But I haven’t always felt it.

In my late teens and early twenties, I struggled with the disconnect between my knowledge of God’s love and my experience of it. I started talking to God about how I felt (or rather didn’t feel) and I began praying to feel His love more…

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It's Cold Outside! Warm Your Heart With These Verses About God's Love for You

It's Cold Outside! Warm Your Heart With These Verses About God's Love for You

Happy February, ladies! I don’t know about you, but I love the month of love! At a time when we’re still being battered by winter’s icy paw, Valentine’s brings so many cozy, good feelings. I love the warm pinks and reds, the luxurious chocolates, the cheerful flowers…

I love that the days are growing longer, and after months of weak winter sun, I can actually feel a bit of heat shining through my windows…

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Do You Want to Learn to Draw? Sing? Play the Guitar? Here are 7 Ways to Grow Your Skills in Any Artistic Endeavor

Do You Want to Learn to Draw? Sing? Play the Guitar? Here are 7 Ways to Grow Your Skills in Any Artistic Endeavor

Every once in a while I get asked what steps I’ve taken to grow as a writer. After the most recent query, I realized that the things I’ve done to nurture my skills as a writer are applicable to many types of artistic endeavors: drawing, singing, playing the piano, woodworking, pottery, photography, calligraphy, sewing…You name it, these steps can probably help you hone your skills…

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In the Beginning: 3 Principles From the First Year Ever to Set the Stage for Your Best Year Yet

In the Beginning: 3 Principles From the First Year Ever to Set the Stage for Your Best Year Yet

Despite being the dead of winter, January is one of my favorite months. The year lies before me as wide open as the creamy pages of my new calendar. My imagination is free to run wild. The air is full of newness, excitement, and possibilities.

I think one reason new beginnings are so exciting is that they almost always carry an element of creation…

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Holding on to Hope when Your New Year is Dogged by Disappointment

Holding on to Hope when Your New Year is Dogged by Disappointment

I hope your New Year is off to a great start!

I feel like I’ve been in a post-Christmas whirlwind, but I think finding my way back to a more normal rhythm. :)

This week, instead of my normal blog post, I’m sharing an article I wrote that was published in my local newspaper…

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Does God Want Me to Enjoy My Calling?

Does God Want Me to Enjoy My Calling?

During my first year as a counselor, a former professor invited me to her classroom to speak to her counseling students. She wanted me to share about what it was like to actually be working in the field. Near the end of our talk, one student gushed, “It must be so wonderful to finally be doing what you really love!”

I was at a loss for words….

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I Thought My Dream Wasn’t Practical. God Thought Otherwise.

I Thought My Dream Wasn’t Practical. God Thought Otherwise.

I sat in the coffee shop debating my next step. I had already decided to go to graduate school. Now I just needed to decide what to study. Against the backdrop of café chatter and between sips of my Americano, I mulled over two options: a master’s in English or a master’s in counseling…

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How Finding Your Calling is a Lot Like Finding a Good Pair of Shoes

How Finding Your Calling is a Lot Like Finding a Good Pair of Shoes

Have you ever had a pair of shoes that didn’t quite fit?

I once had a pair of adorable brown suede flats that I LOVED. They were super cute and went with just about everything. The problem was, they didn’t quite fit. The toe box was too narrow and squeezed my toes, while the back of the shoe had elastic embedded in the leather that bit into my heel, leaving bright red stripes. Still, I was determined to wear them…

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The Physical, Emotional, and Relational Benefits of Keeping Gratitude Going All Year

The Physical, Emotional, and Relational Benefits of Keeping Gratitude Going All Year

 What can help you have

  • A stronger immune system

  • Increased quality and quantity of sleep

  • Decreased feelings of loneliness

  • Better relationships, including more feelings of connection and generosity

  • A better sense of self-worth

  • More feelings of  happiness and joy

  • More resistance to stress

  • Less pain

  • And greater life satisfaction? …

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The Story of how I Meandered My Way to My Calling, the Epiphany that Changed My Life, and Encouragement for Your Journey

The Story of how I Meandered My Way to My Calling, the Epiphany that Changed My Life, and Encouragement for Your Journey

Do you ever wish God would appear to you in a vision and explain with perfect clarity what your calling is?

I can relate. Over the years, there have been many times I wished that my direction was more clear cut. But my path to understanding my calling has been more like a meandering river than perfectly straight railroad tracks leading from point A to point B.

Yet, in spite of all the meandering, there have been moments of clarity and even epiphany.

Today, I’m sharing a bit of my story…

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How this Perspective on Prayer has Helped me Connect with God in a New Way

How this Perspective on Prayer has Helped me Connect with God in a New Way

In his book, Drawing Near, author and minister John Bevere shares about a “wonderful secret” he discovered to connecting more intimately with God. He writes, “As I entered my times of prayer, I’d refrain from words and just meditate on my Father’s wonderful splendor and greatness. I would think of Jesus’ magnificence and the glorious battle He won for me to be His own. I pondered on His awesome spirit and the fact He chose to live with me.” As John engaged with God this way, he found himself entering God’s presence more easily.

Eager to draw nearer to God myself, I recently decided to start incorporating this approach into my prayer time…

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When You Question Your Value, Encourage Yourself with this Truth

When You Question Your Value, Encourage Yourself with this Truth

Do you ever feel like you don’t have much to offer? Do you sometimes look at other people and feel like your talents pale in comparison?

Most of us have probably had at least a few days when we’ve felt discouraged about ourselves. Days when we’ve questioned our value and purpose. Maybe we’ve even wondered what God, or others, could ever see in us…

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Times of Transition can Feel Awkward and Uncomfortable. These Five Things can Help You Get Through with Grace

Times of Transition can Feel Awkward and Uncomfortable. These Five Things can Help You Get Through with Grace

Our state bird here in Alaska is the willow ptarmigan. I think they are so adorable with their kind, watchful eyes and their legs and feet covered in feathers, like little built in bird snowpants.

They also have the wonderful ability to change color with the season. They are snow white in the winter and brown in the summer. And in the spring and fall…well, they’re in between…

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Feel Like You Should be Further Along in Your Goals than You are? Here's how Celebrating Milestones can Encourage Us, Mark Our Progress, and Move us Forward

Feel Like You Should be Further Along in Your Goals than You are? Here's how Celebrating Milestones can Encourage Us, Mark Our Progress, and Move us Forward

Today I’m celebrating a milestone: the one year anniversary of launching my website and starting this blog!

One of the beautiful things about milestones is that they’re an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. (The term milestone actually comes from ancient Rome, where the Romans used actual stones to mark the miles along highways. A traveler could both see how far they’d come along the road as well as how much farther they had to go to their destination.)…

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What Does Jesus Smell Like?

What Does Jesus Smell Like?

Wherever I went, the smell followed. It was spicy and earthy, like patchouli oil. Though I was certain I hadn’t used any patchouli scented products that morning, after a bit of sniffing, I confirmed the scent was definitely coming from me.

As I pondered how the patchouli could have gotten there, I remembered that earlier in the day I’d hugged a friend, and I realized her fragrance had transferred to me through our embrace.

We tend to become like the people we spend time with. The closer the association, the more we pick up another’s mannerisms, patterns of speech, eating habits and even smell…

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Fruits and Vegetables are Best when They're in Season. So are We.

Fruits and Vegetables are Best when They're in Season. So are We.

Have you noticed how fruits and vegetables are so much better when bought in season?

Here in Fairbanks, fall is the only time of year to get freshly harvested local carrots. They are so bright, crispy, and deliciously sweet they seem to be a different vegetable altogether than the imported variety we get the rest of the year.

And if I want squash, I need to get my fill now, because come March, though there may be a few lingering in grocery bins, they’ll be dry and shriveled.

I know not to buy summer fruits like tomatoes in December because they’ll taste like nothing, and if I want non-mealy nectarines I’ll need to wait until June.

Depending on where we live, seasons affect not just what we eat but often where we focus our time and energy as well…

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5 Easy Ways to get God's Word into Your Day, Even when You're Super Busy

5 Easy Ways to get God's Word into Your Day, Even when You're Super Busy

Do you want to spend more time in God’s Word, but life keeps interrupting? The phone rings, the dog gets into the trash, a neighbor stops by unexpectedly…

In the busyness of life, it can be challenge to carve out quiet time. Yet, the reality remains that nourishing ourselves with God’s Word is vital to growing in faith and relationship with Him.

The good news is you don’t necessarily have to be sitting down with your Bible and a cup of tea in order to get a good dose of Scripture…

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More Important Than Breakfast

More Important Than Breakfast

Life is busy. The list of of every day commitments and necessities goes on and on: phone calls to make, clothes to launder, church events to attend. There are baby showers, doctor appointments, and birthday parties. Dishes to wash, snow to shovel, groceries to buy…

Still, in midst of it all, I rarely miss a meal…

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