love far beyond any weakness

This summer I’ve gotten the chance to know Victoria Adams, a senior religion major at Baylor University who is interning with the youth ministry at our church. She recently shared a message with our middle school group about how God can meet us in our place of weakness and remind us that we are His beloved children. That resonated with me, too, so I’ve asked her to guest blog this week with her story. 

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On a recent adventure in Wenatchee, WA. In addition to road tripping, Victoria loves talking, fixing up houses, and spreading the amazing love of Jesus. Follow her on Instagram: victoriaadams15

I was born deaf.

Not the “she hears me sometimes then ignores me others” type deaf but fully and completely without hearing. My parents found this out by cupping their hands and yelling at me while I was sleeping as a baby.

I would not flinch. Continue reading “love far beyond any weakness”

like a child

It was unbelievably early one autumn morning, still dark outside, but I was wide awake. I was eight months pregnant with our second child and at that “happy but uncomfortable” stage—probably not sleeping because of my squashed bladder or my aching back. I wasn’t the only one awake, though. Two little feet were padding down the stairs. Two dark-chocolate eyes were looking for me. Continue reading “like a child”

hasta la vista, funeral suits

hasta la vista, funeral suits

The last few weeks I’ve been talking to women who are serious about ditching their “funeral suits.”

Oh, they looked like they were just drinking coffee and catching up, and I’ve had a blast meeting with them at homes and cafes. But what they’ve really been doing is digging into what God has to say about becoming new women with new clothes. Through intentional Bible study using my book as a guide, they’ve been exchanging old habits and hang-ups (those “funeral suits” I mentioned) for life-giving ways of relating to God and other people. They’ve laughed over a few crazy metaphors I wrote, but they’ve also internalized the truth behind them. To you amazing people, I want to say this:

You’re the real deal. You aren’t just playing dress-up. You’re putting on love and stepping out with courage into messy situations and hard things, and I’m cheering for you because what you’re learning about God and His Word will help you change your world. Continue reading “hasta la vista, funeral suits”

hint: it’s not about the bread

hint: it’s not about the bread

Yesterday, there was a mad hunt for a phone we thought we’d left behind—turns out it was in an obscure side-pocket of a bag, put there to free up hands to juggle even more bags, but we were kind of scurrying around for a bit, looking high and low, trying not to overact. This morning, my daughter left her breakfast behind in my husband’s car at drop off, so right now I’m sitting here waiting to see if she got my message and can swing by the cafeteria for a biscuit before the school bell. Waiting…waiting…. Nope, that didn’t work. So I’ll be running something up there when her growling stomach reminds her what’s happened.

This seems to be our life right now, all this shuttling from place to place, trying to keep up with all our stuff and keep our sanity intact. My husband arrives from the airport and barely gets his suitcase emptied before it’s time to head out for another business trip. Meanwhile, I’m playing that ever-popular mom game called Who’s Got What Activity Where and with What Equipment. Kind of like Clue—you know, Colonel Mustard in the library with the monkey wrench (but thankfully, without the murder). Then, there’s everyone’s daily assembly of backpacks, instrument cases, gym bags, dance totes, and lunch boxes. We’ve been doing this all school year so it should be routine, but with so many parts and pieces, we get pretty weary sometimes and still forget to pack something important. Continue reading “hint: it’s not about the bread”

i am pauline

i am pauline

Ever want to share an experience, but when you try, it’s like you’re back in grade-school writing a theme called something like “Why It’s Important to Help Others”?

For weeks, I’ve been trying to synthesize my thoughts following a three-day outreach project I did with Caroline, my daughter. It would have been simple to post a dozen pictures of the team sorting food and clothes, delivering meals, making crafts, praying with people. I could have come up with a few quick captions. But my fear is that sometimes pictures AREN’T worth a thousand words or at least not exactly the right words. Continue reading “i am pauline”

forgive and forget – what does it really mean?

forgive and forget – what does it really mean?

As we head into Easter, I’ve invited my friend Cayli Pankratz to share her thoughts on forgiveness. I got to know Cayli when she and her husband Stephen began leading a home-based Bible-study group through our church. I’ve always been impressed that she encourages those of us in the group to ask tough questions like “Is ‘forgive and forget’ actually biblical or just something Christians say?” and then helps us dig into God’s Word for the answers. A full-time mom, pastor’s wife, and lover of chocolate, coffee, and the outdoors, Cayli has a Masters of Arts in Theological Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has been a Bible teacher in various ways for the past 9 years. I think you’ll be encouraged by what she has to say!   

“I know I need to just forgive and forget, but…”

“I know that God says we should forgive and forget, but…”

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve sat with someone who was wronged significantly, was experiencing deep pain, and was saying words just like those through their tears. Continue reading “forgive and forget – what does it really mean?”

rye ruv roo

Confession: I have been known to FaceTime my dog when I’m away from home. That’s right. I’ve asked someone at my house to go get my dog and put her on video so I could croon baby-talk to her. img_1684And why not? Look at that face. She’s adorable. She clearly misses me when I’m gone. And she growly-barks “I love you” on command. OK, it’s really more like rye ruv roo, and according to SOME people with no imagination, it just sounds like bark-bark-bark, but still that’s pretty good, right? Nobody else I know is that consistent with the undying love and appreciation. Also, also when she’s stolen a bunch of my socks and chewed the toe-seams out, she grovels at my feet convincingly. All evidence of true devotion, right?  Continue reading “rye ruv roo”