submission vs. wishful asking

You know, I realized something today as I was taking a little hike and doing some praying.

I was praying “God, if this is your will then just orchestrate the details.”

And I just felt Him responding, “If it is My will, why would I not be orchestrating the details? If it is My will, it is bound to happen, so stop worrying about how or why or when or what.”

Duh. I know in my head that if something is God’s will then it will happen at some point, in some way.

What I realized was that often when I pray “if it’s your will, let it work out” is that really what I am saying is “I really want this, and I want it to be your will, so figure out how to make this happen. Please?”

I think, when we are given the example, “yet not my will but yours be done” in (Luke 22:42), the Will is already known it’s just the heart and mind that is not 100% in agreement. But the plan is made clear. When we are praying in this way I think we are giving up control – your will be done, not mine. But, in the way I was praying, it was more like going to God as a wish-granter, which I try so hard to avoid.

So, if the thing I am praying for is God’s Will then I don’t need to worry about the details. And if it is not God’s will, then again, I don’t have to worry about the details. I can just pray “Your Will be done in this situation,” and leave it at that.

Nicknaming life.

It just has been so long since I’ve written about what is happening in my life!

This is a new season. My roommates have both moved out of town and I have myself a cozy little one bedroom.

While living alone offers a lot of great benefits, it also offers a lot of higher bills and bigger responsibilities. Oh, and it offers a lot of chance to sit in my sin and pout.

So, as this first month of the first time I am living alone is wrapping up, I am challenged.

Good ole’ Steven Furtick from Elevation Church once again pulled through to bring me hope in this season of life. In a series cleverly titled #deathtoselfie, Furtick tells the story of Jacob and his family. The final sermon on the series was titled “naming rights.” The description reads:

Just because the Bible says God works all things together for our good, does not mean everything feels good all the time. But it’s often our times of greatest struggle that we can gain the most strength and increase our faith. In the final part of our series #DeathToSelfie, Pastor Steven uses the story of Jacob renaming his son Benjamin to show us that, though there are circumstances in our lives we didn’t choose to go through, God has given us the rights to call any circumstance a blessing in His name.

Dang. Do you get it? Rename your situation!

For me, I saw this time of living alone as pretty lonely, and pretty stressful as I stare blankly at a pile of bills I really don’t know how I will manage to pay each month. I saw it as a time of missing community and struggling to find worth in the job I’m not loving at the moment. I saw this time as a time where I’d be forced to face some sins that I forgot about, because now I’m all alone where the enemy attacks me hardest.


Oh friends, it’s so lovely.

This is a time where God is calling out my sin so I can better glorify Him!

This is a time where I can learn to be a good steward of my money and learn to rely on faith that He will provide for my needs, if I am faithful with returning to Him what is already His.

This is a time where yes, I am single, so yes, I can plan my schedule to my own liking.

This is a time where I can learn to trust that God has me in my current job for a reason, so I’ll look for the good in each day.


I do hope this time doesn’t last forever, and I think that is okay.

But while we are in our different seasons of life, why don’t we name them something good?

Give this time in your life a nickname you life, not the nickname the enemy’s been using. 


Sunday Scripture [Matthew 16:24-25]

Today’s scripture was the passage we read in church this morning.

It hit me hard. The words, I have read them before.

The impact, it has never been so heavy.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 

Do you see that? I am supposed to DENY myself.

say what.

Oh yes, that means denying myself the extra cookie, the shirt that is on sale and oh-so-cute.

I should deny myself running an extra mile to make up for the extra cookie.

When the cute guy asks me on a date, but has no relationship with Jesus, I should deny my flesh and tell him “no thank you”.

I should even deny the chance to volunteer for something that seems to be a service for God, when my plate is already too full.



We, as Americans, see this word as only a negative thing.

And when we do use it wisely, as in dieting, we do it for our own glory.


Let me be honest. Denial is something I have very little practice in. I often find myself weak, especially in the food realm. I have struggled for years with my relationship with food. I don’t talk about it with too many people, because quite frankly it is something a lot of people don’t seem to understand. I am thin, I work out a lot, and I tend to eat pretty healthy. But food speaks to my loneliness, my borden, my dissatisfaction with myself. Food calls my name when everyone else is quiet, and I answer, and I am more unsatisfied. You see, I have made food an idol. I love to create with food, but it is something I am learning to deny. There is so much more to this story; so much more for another time.


Brother, sister – what are you needing to deny? What is good and pleasing, but not something necessary?

What is something that is bad, and unfruitful in your life?

Deny yourself dear friend. Deny yourself and search for Christ and you will gain life.


In my case, when I deny myself excess food (please know I never deny myself food unhealthily; I am denying the eating when I am not hungry or the second… or third bowl of ice cream), and ask for Jesus to strengthen me and be the bread of life to my unsatisfied soul, I find life just in the joy of overcoming. And while overcoming, I have turned to a much more satisfying source – one that brings life.

Psalm 145:18

“The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.” 


This weekend at my church we wrapped up our series on the Psalms. This one verse stuck out to me as our pastor noted, “He is near! Call on Him and He is near!”

And then he challenged us to imagine Jesus literally sitting next to us: how much more would we pay attention? How much more would we worship?

How much more?

Believer, call on Him. Whisper His name throughout the day when you are weak, weary, heavy laden.

This blew my mind, to be honest.

I know He is near, I get that. I read about whispering His name often in Jesus Calling. This is something I have learned to do often, when I feel lost/confused/incompetent/embarrassed/happy/sad – you get the point…

But I decided to challenge myself to try to imagine Jesus physically next to me throughout this week. How would I love the unlovable a little more? How would this affect my sin-life? Would the words I say be sweeter? Would I spend my time a bit more productively? Maybe less productively?

How about you, how would knowing Jesus is physically next to you change how you do life?

Sunday Scripture [Ephesians 2:1-10]

We read this scripture during the worship time at church today.

It spoke loudly to me, as I have been trying to figure out what it means to “renew my mind” as directed by the scriptures.

Ephesians 2:1-10 reads:

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy,because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

I’m not going to say much, except YOU ARE NO LONGER DEAD – stop living like you are.
By grace you have been saved
It is the gift of God, not a result of works.
You are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.
You are alive together with Christ.
Go out and live that way, friend.

Who you are.

I am working on the “renewing of my mind,” per all the scripture (Romans 12:2, ) telling me to renew my mind, as I am a new creation.

Well, if someone wants to tell me how one goes about this, I’d be grateful. I still haven’t figured it out, but I have started the process of learning who God is.

And well, because I am created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), I can better learn who I am, and maybe what I should be thinking about, and maybe this will give me some insight into the renewing of my mind.

Tired yet? I sure am.

Here’s a helpful sermon by my boy Pipes (John Piper… is that offensive? I just feel like you and I are tight). Check it out for some help on the renewing of your mind.

But that’s not what this post is about – I don’t understand it enough yet to write about it.

This is about WHO GOD IS.

Because, brothers and sisters, when you know who God is, you can learn who YOU are!

AH! Is that not exciting? We were made in HIS image! To be like him!

I am very much into recreating quotes onto canvas to hang on the wall. But to do that, I have to look at an image, because I am not the best of artists on my own.

Here are some ideas on some of the attributes, or characteristics of God (via Challies):


Those are good, and worth learning about. I also love the book The Attributes of God, by A.W. Tozer.


But when I think how I want to model myself in the image of God, I think of things like these:

  • unconditionally lover
  • seeker of justice
  • creative
  • beautiful
  • peaceful
  • strong
  • patient
  • humble
  • trustworthy
  • consistent
  • forgiving

What one attribute of God could you work on for yourself this week?

I’m going to work on “patient.”

Sunday Scripture: Psalm 88 & 89

Currently, at my church, we are studying various books of Psalms.

Last week we read over Psalm 88 – it is deep and dark, and not fully of praise and hope like a lot of the Psalms we are used to:

“my soul is full of troubles… you have put me in the depths of the pit…your wrath lies heavy upon me…you have caused my companions to shun me…”

Whoa, okay. Things are rough for the author of this Psalm. “Sorry for him, but really I’m not in that kind of time right now in my life so I can’t really relate, but I’ll take notes for one day (far, far away) when I am feeling dark and lowly,” I thought during the sermon.

Our pastor addressed how the psalmist still prayed during his darkness, whether or not he felt God was near.

He gave us a quote  regarding this Psalm, which sticks with me today (I cannot remember the source), “It stands as a mark of realism of Biblical faith.” We will suffer, we will find ourselves in the pit, we will feel a loss of hope.

And then my pastor stated, “lamentation is the recognition that where we are at in our lives is not where we are meant to be.”

A- to the -men! We are free to lament! God invites us to lament to Him! He doesn’t send condemnation, He listens and I believe offers a little side-smirk, as He thinks to Himself “oh, but if you only knew what is ahead!”

So… funny how things work, because just 4-5 days later, I found myself in a bit of darkness…

And yesterday, it all came to fruition. I was in that pit the psalmist talked about. I sat down in tears and read Psalm 88 word for word – now from my own darkness. It took some time because the tears overwhelmed my outloud prayer/reading.

And then I continued reading aloud in prayer to Psalm 89. The author is not the same, nor is the tone of the Psalm.

Here, here there is hope! I like to think they were situated in God’s word like this for a reason.

Oh, we may not feel hope, but there is hope. Don’t stop at the pit, keep going, keep reading!

When things are tough, when you feel so dark and there is no hope, when you are deep in the pit – PRAISE!

psalm 899