Sometimes when I’m confronted with challenges or hard decisions, I find my heart falling into a place of discouragement. Idling in the undercurrents of my mind are thoughts that go something like this: I need help, but there’s no one to help me. I need to figure this out, but I have no idea how…Read More
As I shared last week, Fairbanks got a lot of snow in April. After having our warmest March on record (which resulted in the snow being almost completely gone by the end of March), it was a bit of a letdown to have such adverse weather in April. But, by the time I wrote my last post, which was less than a week after our last big snowfall, almost all the snow had (re)melted…Read More
I somehow have this subconscious perception of God as stoic, serious, and stern. Thankfully, God has done a lot over the years to change this perception, but sometimes I still find that when I’m in emotional pain or am struggling with a problem, I feel guilty. Deep down, I think I should be stronger and I fear God is displeased with me…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More
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 I’m 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…Read More
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….Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More
It's a gorgeous September day. The birch trees around my house are just starting to turn golden, and the first leaves are beginning to fall, settling on the grass as softly as feathers. Bright sunshine glows through the branches, flickering like an autumn campfire, and through the open window I can hear one my favorite sounds: the rustle of wind in leaves.
There is something so soothing about the sound of wind-tussled trees, like the caress of ocean waves on soft sand. There’s something timeless and eternal about it, something holy…Read More
I’ve always loved journaling. I’ve been immortalizing my thoughts in notebooks since the tender age of nine and have found it to be a great way to sort my feelings, clarify my thoughts, and process my experiences.
As a young adult, I noticed something. Whenever I went through a phase where I wasn’t journaling much, I didn’t feel as close to God…Read More
This week is a big one for my hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska, as we celebrate Summer Solstice. Though June 21st is the longest day of the year, it’s happily only one of over 70 days on which we receive 24 hours of daylight…Read More
All I remember about the sermon is that the pastor wanted a Winnebago motorhome.
As he talked about how cool it would be to have a giant transportable abode, the pastor’s eyes were bright, his face animated.
But then he started disparaging his desire. I’m not sure of his exact words, but, as I recall, he said something along the lines of how ridiculous his desire was, asking, incredulously, “Why would God want me to have a Winnebago?” and ending with “It will never happen.”…Read More
During one of my morning devotional times last week, I read something that surprised me. In Colossians, the Apostle Paul wrote:
"Let the peace of heart that comes from Christ be always present in your hearts and lives, for this is your responsibility and privilege as members of his body. And always be thankful." (Colossians 3:15, TLB)
Peace is…our responsibility?…Read More
What is a calling?
It’s a term we hear tossed around frequently, but what does it mean, really?
The dictionary defines calling as “a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.”
Leadership expert Michael Hyatt asserts that it is comprised of four factors: It comes from outside yourself, it’s unique to you, it’s something you want to do, and it’s optional...
“What are you passionate about?”
The question was posed by a trusted mentor. We were midway through a pizza dinner, and I can still envision her sitting across from me, her face bright and expectant.
I imagine my face looked disconcerted. I was about 21 years old, and I was at a loss for words...Read More
My favorite Valentines haven’t been cards with cuddly kittens on the front or boxes of chocolate (though I do enjoy those too!).
It might sound funny, but my favorite Valentines have been sunrises.
I received my first one—at least, the first one I actually realized was addressed to me—a few years ago...Read More
Have you ever wondered, Why can’t life just run smoothly?
A couple weeks ago, I sat in front of my computer having a pity party and stewing over this question.
The article I was working on just wasn’t coming together. On top of that, I was having computer problems...Read More
My cat Fritz is the most expressive cat I’ve ever known, particularly when it comes to showing affection. Every morning, he jumps on the bed, trots up to my face, sits on my chest, scrubs my neck with his scratchy tongue, and nudges his whiskery head against my cheek...Read More