Monthly Archives: April 2015


I found myself laughing when I shouldn’t have. The comic strip wasn’t all that funny, but my day had been pretty boring up until that point, so the little dog pretending to line up a putt on the famous Augusta golf course just seemed hilarious. Did a dog purchase his golf clubs at a pro shop or a pet shop? What kind of caddy does a dog use? And who would make the tiny green jacket should the canine win?

World_Famous_Golf_ProThe beagle didn’t land his putt, but it didn’t matter. The platitude: Laughter is the Best Medicine swirling in my mind seemed so apropos. As I imagined the answers to my silly questions, I realized often I take myself too seriously.

God’s grace is an amazing thing and very often instead of giving myself grace, I get caught up in a lecture. You know the type: How I’m not good enough. How I didn’t try enough. How I’m just plain not enough. That little dog had so much swagger taking on those at the top of the leader board at the invitation only tournament. Still amused, remembering the missed putt, I was determined to dare to dream big like that modest pooch.

It wasn’t boastfulness. Like most of you, my inner critics don’t whisper; they scream. “You aren’t beautiful. Your creativity is in sore need of help. You’ll never be successful.” But on that day, my laughter was God’s way of telling me, “Dare to put the seriousness aside. Dare to see yourself as Beloved. Dare to be brilliant – just seek Me in everything.”

God can do so much more than me, so I’m working on stopping during the day and giving whatever I am doing over to Him. To stop the work of my hands, bow in prayer and lay it in His hands. Of fighting back those internal critics with the understanding God doesn’t expect me to be perfect, He just wants me.

No one gets out of life unscathed. Maybe you find yourself contending with depression, which keeps yanking you down. Maybe the sense of not being enough holds you in place. Maybe, like me, the shadows of insecurity keep you from rising above your circumstances.

The relentless tug of war can only stop in the midst of the joy found in God; the One who is with us and for us. When it comes to these fights in our lives, we need joy to be our constant companion, so we can dare to live big. We can dare to live by faith. We can dare to live in a world where we don’t have the answers and never will. We can do all this because the battles of life, both internal and external, have already been won through Christ.

Starting Over

Where did this last month go? In between completing several projects and normal day-to-day activities, I feel I lost an entire month. Oh, I have some accomplishments to show for the time stolen from me via busyness. But towards the end of the month, I began to doubt myself, to beat up on myself, to wonder why I even try sometimes.

When I get this busy, I feel estranged from God. And a chilling panic sets in, that I’ll never be the woman God is calling me to be. Not only don’t I enjoy life, but I let it knock me down, paralyze me with regret and leave me wanting to spend the day in bed.

Almost everyone on the planet deals with the twin giants of regret from past failures and fear of failing in the future. They cause insecurity and self-doubt. Rushing through my days under pressure from deadlines is the reason behind my greatest defeat: letting my failures, sins and broken relations force me into throwing in the towel – into believing my dreams aren’t worth pursuing. Or that I don’t have the ability to breathe them into existence. I rush and push myself through the days and not get what I want. That’s because God gives me beauty all around, yet I fail to see His divinity in the mundane. I don’t see His love shimmering through a cold drink, a dog to snuggle close to at night, a text from someone inviting me into their day. I lose sight of His glory and replace it with my fears.

handsSo I think God had me (and you) in mind when He says in Psalms 37:23-34: The steps of good men (and women) are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take. If they fall, it isn’t fatal for the Lord holds them with his hand. Instead of giving into our fears, Jesus wants to empower us to overcome them. Because when we fail, He stretches out His hand and offers to help us up.

In getting up, we can set a new course. We can try again despite all our mistakes, maybe because our mistakes have made us stronger, given us wisdom, shown us a better path. Because we believe our steps are truly determined by the Lord, even when we fail, God is there holding us up and providing strength to wipe off the shame and begin once again.

When I get up again, I find myself more of the confident woman God created me to be purely because I’ve gone to Him for help. God understands the wounds of my self-doubt. Even when the beauty of our relationship fades into the busyness of my life, He is there beside me whispering, “I see your wounds. They are not invisible. Your wounds have value to me.”

That’s when relief spreads through my aching muscles and tired bones. A relationship with God is not about being perfect. It’s about growing more dependent on His perfect love. It is opening up, taking His hand and allowing Him the space in my heart to let His power work in me. Every time I depend on Him, I become more of what I was meant to be. And instead of giving in to fear and self-doubt, I choose to joyfully take His hand, get up and start all over again.