The Promise I Turn to When I’m Not Sure Where to Get the Help I Need

The Promise I Turn to When I’m Not Sure Where to Get the Help I Need

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

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The Truth About Your Setback

The Truth About Your Setback

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…

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How Jesus Really Feels When You're Upset

How Jesus Really Feels When You're Upset

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…

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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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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 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…

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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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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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What's Stirring in Your Heart?

What's Stirring in Your Heart?

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…

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One Secret to Connecting with God in a Deeper Way

One Secret to Connecting with God in a Deeper Way

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…

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Desire: Friend or Foe of Calling?

Desire: Friend or Foe of Calling?

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.”…

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Do You Want to Feel More Peaceful? Do These Three Things

Do You Want to Feel More Peaceful? Do These Three Things

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?…

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Ten Attributes of a Calling

Ten Attributes of a Calling

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...

 

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Being Yourself, Part 3: Five Ways to Get to Know Yourself Better

Being Yourself, Part 3: Five Ways to Get to Know Yourself Better

“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...

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My Favorite Valentines are not What You Might Expect

My Favorite Valentines are not What You Might Expect

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...

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