Stop Trying to Be What You Already Are


When your girl nuzzles into you on the couch and asks you, “Do you think she’s better than me? She has blond shiny hair like the pretty girls. She does gymnastics and horseback riding. What am I good at?” And she can’t look at you because she’s squirming around in a big ugly cauldron of insecurities Lucifer is stirring her up in. I just squeeze her tighter and feel how we have more than genetics in common.

Aunt Wilma says, “Every black crow thinks her’s is the blackest.” Amen?

“The truth is baby girl, what the world thinks of you, what I think of you, it doesn’t compare to what God thinks of you. I think you’re the prettiest thing my eyes have ever seen. I think you’re smart, funny, kind-hearted, loyal, a good secret keeper, and you’re only two classes into tak-won-do and you’re already earning high praises and stripes from your instructor.”

But God.

•God calls you friend. John 15:15
•God says you are His heir. Romans 8:17
•You are wise, and You. Are. Redeemed. 1 Corinthians 1:30

“Bird, maybe we should spend time highlighting Gods’ love notes to you because there is a world full of people who get confused about what makes someone matter and all my reasons you are great are a bit tainted by that world. But God, all his reasons you are enough, they are holy and good.”

Let me say this to you dear reader; stop trying to become what you already are. All my reasons you’re great are a bit tainted by the world, but God! …And You. Are. Redeemed.image

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Love Is


I noticed this morning that I will be finishing the book of Daniel on Friday and starting Hosea on Saturday. Song of Solomon is known as the love book, but if you ask me Hosea deserves just as much credit. To say I am excited to start Hosea on Valentine’s Day would be an understatement.

Like most girls I’ve always enjoyed Valentine’s Day, but I’ve noticed in the last few years it has grown considerably less exciting and important to me. I still buy cards and candies to show those I love that I do love them, but honestly it all seems superficial to me. I thought it was because growing older has taught me that loving well the other 364 days is more important than buying into the hype of one day. That is true, but this year I have changed my mind about Valentine’s  Day.

For the last 5 years or so we have busied ourselves each year with our youth group and hosting a Valentine’s  banquet for the adults at our church. I often think and plan ideas for my own loved ones early then it flees my mind and I’m grabbing last-minute gifts, and few to none of my plans materialize. Since becoming parents, we have a traditional seafood dinner at home where we exchange gifts with each other and the children. It’s quaint but lovely.

Not this year though. Maybe it’s because we aren’t busy hosting a banquet at church, but I have been thinking a lot more and a lot deeper about Valentine’s Day.

The story of Hosea is the true definition of love. Humans define love as an intense feeling of deep affection. 1John 4:8 defines love as God Himself. If God is love, and He is; then we should look to Him for how to love. Hosea is the example of how God loves.

God told the prophet Hosea to marry and love a Harlot. He married Gomer and it wasn’t too long after what we will call the honeymoon phase; that Gomer was being adulterous. Hosea pleaded with her (2:2). Hosea threatened to leave her with nothing (2:3). But Gomer continued to seek other partners and sin (2:5). Hosea lovingly took her back, but her faithfulness was short-lived and she would be in adulterous relationships again. Gomer finally officially leaves Hosea.

This is horrible! Why would you want use this story for Valentine’s Day? Why would God ask Hosea to do this you ask. Hosea was our relatable symbolic example of the depth of love and loyalty God has for us.

Hosea ends up having to buy back his wife for 15 pieces of silver and some barley (if the sin itself wasn’t humiliating that would be). This all has me thinking; if Christmas is the when and Easter is the how then Valentine’s is the why. Love is not an intense feeling of affection. Love is sacrifice. Love is keeping your promises when they break theirs. Love is when nothing makes sense. Love is when it isn’t wanted or deserved. Love is God.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 1John 4:8

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How Long


I believe in sharing the raw and ugly. I believe doing so is the only way to find purpose for our pain, and finding a reason for your hurt is the best salve for the wounds. David said, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long…” When I read that I felt like he took the words right out of my heart.

I am grateful to have received a beautiful text from a beautiful soul. Susie Sidebottom embraced the vulnerable and exposed the raw and ugly. I pray it was soothing to the wounds.

You can imagine my joy when she agreed to write a guest post. It was a testimony that stirred my heart. I had a feeling it would yours too.

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This week, while doing my studies of the Psalms, I was consistently drawn to the thirteenth Psalm. In this Psalm, David was praying for relief from despair. Within the first two verses, David asked “How long?” four times.

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” ​​​​​​​Psalm 13:1-2 ESV

Ten years of marriage to my soul-mate, and I can promise you that I have asked “How Long” more than just four times. How long until we have a baby? How long do I have to work a job where I am unappreciated? How long until I am the number one priority? How long until we aren’t in a financial upheaval? How long are we going to be just the two of us? How long will this pregnancy last? How long will this test or trial last? How long until God finds and shows favor in me? These are just a few examples of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times that I have asked “How Long?”. Confession – the last of my thoughts are thanking God and rejoicing in Him and his salvation at those moments when I am asking that question. In reading the thirteenth Psalm, that is exactly what David did at the end of that prayer.
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”​​​​​​​Psalm 13: 5-6 ESV

I can say that in the last couple of years I have been able to find greater peace because I have been able to let go and let God. These last two years, I have been trying to focus more on being thankful for everything that God has afforded me. Admittedly, David made me chuckle with the sixth verse, because it is inherently true. God has dealt bountifully with me.

God knows exactly the right timing for everything in our lives. He is the master designer of our stories. Looking back on my life, and the trials within, I can understand the answer to some of my “How long?” questions. God answered by showing me that He has the perfect plan and that His timing is impeccable.

It was easy to find great solace in reading this Psalm, because the great King David felt the way that I do and have in the past. David sets an excellent example and reminder that it is okay to ask of our God “How Long?”, but we also need to remember that He is the great provider, and we need to be thankful for everything that He has already done for us. Remember, He has dealt bountifully with us. That is quite a job on most days.image