God Celebrates the Day You were Born!

God Celebrates the Day You were Born!

I just turned 34 on Sunday, which is cool, but also weird. How am I almost (I’m not claiming mid-thirties until I’m 35! So almost!) in my mid 30s? I guess getting older probably never stops feeling weird.

Anyway, a couple months ago I shared about how God once told me that He loves the day I was born. It touches my heart so deeply to know that not only did my family rejoice when I was born, but God Himself was celebrating…

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I Searched for Years to Find Beauty Products that Won’t Hurt My Health. Here’s the Best of what I’ve Found So Far.

I Searched for Years to Find Beauty Products that Won’t Hurt My Health. Here’s the Best of what I’ve Found So Far.

I’ve been on a long quest to feel good and function at my best, not just so I can enjoy everyday life, but so I can have the strength and energy I need to accomplish all God has called me to do.

In my health journey, I’ve learned about environmental toxins and the harmful effects they can have on our bodies. Sadly, many of these toxins can be found in personal care products…

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What to do When You're Not Sure Where God is Leading You

What to do When You're Not Sure Where God is Leading You

Last spring, I visited a friend in California. I live in Alaska, so it took a couple plane rides and a few hours of driving to get to her. Before I arrived, I asked for her address and directions to her house. With my course clearly mapped out, I was able to find her house without a problem.

But what if, when I asked how to get her house, my friend had simply said, “It’s in California”?

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Self-Care at Its Simplest: How a Breath of Fresh Air Can Help You Feel Better and Fuel Your Purpose

Self-Care at Its Simplest: How a Breath of Fresh Air Can Help You Feel Better and Fuel Your Purpose

Our cold winter has finally come to an end, and, with temperatures here in Fairbanks inching into the 50s, I’ve been opening the windows and drinking coffee out on the deck (🎉 yay!).

Last night, I took a short stroll down the driveway after dinner, just to get some fresh air. It was so refreshing! As I made my way back inside, I marveled at how something as simple as fresh air can make you feel so good…

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Jesus Saved Me From a Life of Self-Hate

Jesus Saved Me From a Life of Self-Hate

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I used to write mean things about myself in my journal. This week, I decided to get really real and share a few actual quotes.

So (deep breath), here’s a peek at what my 15-year-old self was saying:

“Why am I like this…?”

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When You Don't Like How You Look: 7 Ways to Learn to Love Your Body

When You Don't Like How You Look: 7 Ways to Learn to Love Your Body

As a child, Amy Carmichael was bitterly disappointed by her brown eyes. She so longed for blue eyes that she prayed repeatedly that God would change her eyes from brown to blue. To her dismay, He didn’t.

But, years later, Amy developed a newfound appreciation for how God created her when she became a missionary to India. There, Amy worked to rescue young girls who were enslaved as temple prostitutes…

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How Disliking Your Appearance Paralyzes Your Progress and Disempowers Your Purpose

How Disliking Your Appearance Paralyzes Your Progress and Disempowers Your Purpose

I used to write mean things about myself in my journal. Mostly, it had to do with dislike for my appearance. I look like Carina, and, deep down, I believed that wasn’t okay. I thought I should look like the models splashed across magazine covers and the movies stars on TV. It wasn’t hard to see all the ways I didn’t measure up, and, somehow, I thought that body bashing would magically transform me into what I wished I could be…

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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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