Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life


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Why Easter Means You Can Hang on to Hope

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Even though everyone’s supposed to celebrate new life at Easter, do you feel like you’re hanging on to hope by the skin of your teeth? Easter means that God can bring new life out of death, and spring carries the same message after the deadness of winter. But sometimes even sunny days and spring flowers can’t sweep away the cobwebs we have on the inside.

The great message of Easter is this: your story isn’t over.

My story wasn’t over when the doctor told me I had rheumatoid arthritis. That sounded terrible to a 27 year old who could hardly walk because it hurt too much. Months of being unable to do anything but the simplest tasks had eroded my hope. I wondered if I’d ever have a normal, pain-free life.

Mysteriously God healed me. Twenty years later I’m a walking miracle. (I mean it, being able to walk is a miracle, and I’ve never forgotten it!)

A Thousand Little Deaths

I wonder how Jesus felt during his last week of life in Jerusalem. He knew death by torture awaited him, so he prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42)

Jesus said this about his death: “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.” (John 12:24)

Maybe you can relate to that little kernel of wheat because in this one life God gives you, sometimes it feels like you die a thousand little deaths:

  • Negative pregnancy test
  • A broken relationship
  • A struggling child
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Divorce
  • Unemployment or financial trouble
  • Sickness

God’s Promise of New Life

Delivering Jesus from death was not part of God’s plan. The Father allowed His beloved son to suffer, but when Jesus lay in that stone- cold tomb, the story wasn’t over.

God had something amazing planned, a miracle so astounding that no one could have imagined it. That one death was going to result in eternal life for millions and millions of people.

Your story’s not over either. Remember that if you feel heartsick this Easter.  No matter what circumstance you face, God can redeem it. The Master Artist causes all things to work together for good, and He’s making something far more beautiful out of your life than you could imagine. He is a God of miracles who brings new life out of death. The hard part is waiting when what we want is for him to make everything all better RIGHT NOW.

So if you’re hanging on to hope by the skin of your teeth this Easter, take courage, breathe in deep, and lift your chin up. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Your story’s not over yet.

How do you hang on to hope when the going gets tough?

 

 

 

 


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Your True Identity: Dish Washer, Mom, or Princess?

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For years I kept a small rhinestone crown above the kitchen sink, so I could see it while I cooked and washed dishes. It reminded me that despite the long hours I spent in the kitchen, I was more than a dish washer and a short order cook. That little crown reminded me of my true identity in Christ. Continue reading


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Real-Life Hospitality: “Come on into My Mess!”

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Tray with a broken handle that I keep using.

I’ve decided it’s okay to invite people into my mess. Nothing builds community like opening our homes to friends and family, but the images of perfect homes and perfect food we see on Pinterest can intimidate us. Our living rooms definitely don’t look pin-worthy, and on top of that, we’re too busy to have company. Continue reading


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Beautiful, Amazing You: Deeply Loved

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You are a miracle. Amazing and beautiful. The crown of God’s creation. You’re one of a kind, and God smiled when He made you.  God made you so that He could love you, but during the daily hassles of life, it’s easy to lose touch with the reality that you’re God’s cherished treasure.

A co-worker gossips behind your back. Your husband, bless his heart, tells you that something you’re doing really bothers him, and you’re left wondering if you’re a terrible wife. You fail at something, and you hear that voice inside your head once again, “Can’t you do anything right?” Continue reading


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Beauty That Goes Beyond Skin Deep

beauty blogMy 5 year old neighbor, who wears a princess crown, and my 89 year old mother-in-law, who visits the hair salon every week, have something in common: they both want to be beautiful! That longing to be attractive must be part and parcel of being a woman. I read once that women reach the height of their beauty at age 31. I was 31 when I married, and I certainly wanted to be as beautiful as possible on my wedding day.

But if women reach the height of their physical attractiveness at 31, what hope does that leave for the rest of us? Younger women struggle with acne. Middle-aged women face wrinkles and graying hair. Continue reading


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Praying When You’re HOPELESSLY Distracted!

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How many times have I sat down to pray only to find my mind going off on a thousand bunny trails? I try to pray for five minutes, but the day’s to-do list pops up before me, my mind wonders to my grocery list, or I space out completely.  Occasionally a scatterbrained, nonsense prayer rolls off my tongue, like “Oh Lord, please bless the gloves.” The gloves? Where did that come from? I’m sure this never happens to you, right? Continue reading


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Four Ways to Keep Daily Joy (When Things Go Wrong)

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Do you ever have days when your best laid plans go awry? When little mishaps crop up and threaten to ruin your day, do you get as frustrated as I do? As much as I wish I would just flex and go with the flow, I tend to fret and fume instead.

A few Saturdays ago, several setbacks left me frustrated and tense. I was late preparing breakfast for guests who arrived early. The gas tank on our stove ran out (a reality of life in Turkey). I had nothing to offer our friends while we waited an hour for a new tank to be delivered. Later on, a simple errand turned into an afternoon of driving from store to store through heavy traffic in the rain. While we were out, the optical called, but when I went to pick up my new glasses, the lab had made a mistake, so instead of the cute modern style I’d chosen, I had Benjamin Franklin spectacles! Continue reading

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