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Listening Through the Tantrum

I was a foster child. At seven-years-old, I was removed very suddenly from my birth family and placed in the home of a perfect stranger. Although my two sisters were placed in foster care as well, only one of them was placed in the same home as me. So, at seven-years-old, I had been ripped from my mom, my brothers, and two of my sisters. But as if that wasn’t enough trauma, that was only adding to the baggage I had already collected in the seven years I spent with my birth family.

I had been severely neglected, physically abused, witnessed drug use and alcohol abuse, exposed to sexual situations at too young of an age, malnourished, and had two siblings and a niece die as infants. My mother had a revolving door of male companions and I had no idea what functionality looked like. So, when I was placed in foster care (and then a month later placed in the home which would ultimately become my adoptive home), I was already loaded to the brim with childhood trauma—and I didn’t know how to…
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The Comfort of Silence

Patiently wait for God alone, my soul! For he is the one who gives me hope. He alone is my protector and deliverer. He is my refuge; I will not be shaken. -Psalm 62:5-6
This week has been a rough one. Between ministry responsibilities, COVID-19, parenting,  homemaking, homeschooling, and doing my own school work, by the time Thursday night rolled around, I was beside myself. I could not stop crying and I was emotionally, mentally, and spiritually spent. I sent a message to my instructors and told them that all my work for the week would be late--school was really the only area that had any give--I could survive if I didn't get the highest grade, but I was not going to last much longer if I did not take a break. Fortunately, my instructors understood and Friday I was able to refocus and rest. 
But, in reality, I never should have let myself get to that point of exhaustion. "He alone is my protector and deliverer. He is my refuge; I will not be shaken." But I was shaken. Why?…

Writing off the Woman Pastor

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
-John 20: 17-18
I absolutely love this account of Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus, rather than immediately going to the men, counter-culturally had a woman carry the good news to his friends. I can just imagine Mary’s thoughts as she raced to the 11 disciples to tell them. There is not a doubt in my mind that she was seriously thinking “They will never believe me!” After all, a woman’s testimony during this time was not acceptable—But she did as Jesus had told her because it was JESUS WHO TOLD HER. It did not matter if the others believed her or not. Jesus had told her to share the good news with them, and by golly, she was going to follow Jesus.
So many women, including m…

Don't you dare say, "Welcome to Ministry!"

This year has been a trying one, to say the least. Between Jason's roles as Senior Pastor AND District NYI president, we have not been without critics--and some more blatantly than others. My husband and I have struggled with both blunt and passive aggressive attacks against us, our leadership, and our methods. We have been gossiped about, lied to, taken advantage of, and, quite frankly, abused. We are tired. We have been beat up, chewed up, and spit out more than once... and each time we have gotten back up---bruised and beaten, we have continued...but even as we have continued, we have been broken....

And all anyone can say to us is "Welcome to ministry."

Honestly, I HATE that phrase.

It is such a lazy attitude for anyone to say, but even more so for a pastor to say it--and we have had several pastors say it to us.

"Oh, you're struggling with 'saved and sanctified' people being total jerks? Well, welcome to ministry."

Believe me, I understand that…

On Love and Holiness -- What it means to be an imitator of God

When I was a little girl, I was diagnosed with a weird form of apnea. I do not actually stop breathing in my sleep, but when I am tired or distract, my breathing will slow down or become so shallow that, as a reflex, I will hiccup in an attempt to bring in more oxygen. This is usually enough to remind me to take deeper breaths and focus on my breathing so rarely will you hear me hiccup more than once during the span of several minutes or even hours. If I am focused in on my breathing, I am able to prevent them. But occasionally, a hiccup will surface that sounds more like a pterodactyl trying to break through the time continuum than a woman gasping for more oxygen—and when those surface, I will usually face some good-natured teasing and occasionally someone will try to mimic me as a joke. One day, in particular, makes me laugh every time I remember it. I was rocking Emrys to sleep and I started getting tired myself. You guessed it, she was about to fall asleep and suddenly *SQUAWK*… …

Why We Won't "Go Home" -- An Open Letter To John MacArthur

Dear John,

My social media newsfeed has been blowing up in light of your recent statement about Beth Moore. You mocked Beth Moore (and other women leaders) by telling her to "Go home." Well, sir, we will not.

You see, John, when a person is called--whether man or woman--to speak God's word, they become unable to stay silent. Jeremiah 20:9 states:

But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.

John, Beth Moore cannot go home any more than you can. Why? Because God has called her. He has taken her by the hand and led her into the purpose he created her for. She must speak! And as a minister of the Freeing Gospel of Christ, you should be affirming her and not tearing her down. 
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who lis…

Pray for your pastor (and mine)

I am sure most of you are aware of Pastor Jarrid Wilson's death. For those of you who are not aware, he committed suicide after battling with depression.

My heart goes out to his family. I cannot imagine the pain his wife and children are going through and I am devastated.

But as I sit here and watch my husband sleep, I worry. You see, Pastor Wilson's situation is not unique. Numerous other pastor's over the last few years have ended their lives tragically and my heart breaks. You see, my husband is a pastor as well. We just finished our first year at our church and it is his first time serving as Senior Pastor. And he is tired.

He is very tired.

Almost as soon as we arrived, the battles started--and he is tired of fighting them.

It wouldn't be so terrible if they were actually necessary battles, but the ones we've been fighting are so unnecessary it's pathetic. By the way, people get all bent out of shape for the most ridiculous reasons. For non-existent reasons.