The Thirsty Pup

There’s been a drought in the land.

Not literally obviously it has rained record amounts in the last few months. 

And it was raining again. 

The drought had been of a different type and as it happens with droughts the metaphorical land has been dry and left wanting. There is weariness and there are times that my parched soul feels like more than a drop of water at a time may threaten to drown me. 

In the days of late I have done what it is praying people do in times of drought, I have prayed for rain.

That morning as I sat, head in hands praying and asking God to end the drought. I told Him what He already knew, that I was indeed at risk to drown if He didn’t give me more than just a drop to drink at a time, but I knew any thirstier and I would most assuredly die of dehydration. 

Tears threatened to shove their way through my shut eyes and I recalled the droughts of before, ones that have sealed their place in my memory. One in 2016 and one in 2000. They were literal droughts and the two different occurrences have been embedded into my long term memory. I was forcing myself to remember droughts do not last forever, I was straining to hear the voice of the King. 

 I squeezed my eyes tighter, I would not cry, I halfway joked with the Creator of the universe, not that kind of water, I need, I want a pouring out of sorts. 

“Will you help me?” may have been my next thought-slash-prayer, but a sound to my left, an all too familiar sound, a bonafide racket jolted my eyes open. 

I knew the noise before I saw the source of it.

An empty water bowl lying on its side, next to it a double dapple doxie dog barked at me. Her name is Macy, we call her May for short. 

She looked at her bowl and looked at me. Her actions spoke to me the words she could not. 

“I am thirsty. My water bowl is empty. You alone can help me.”

My prayer, the one I had just been praying silently, was expressed by my innocent pup.

“Lord, I am thirsty, my bowl is empty, you alone can help me.”  As I stood to set the bowl upright and refill it, she immediately was at my heels, wagging her tail and jumping up. She was grateful I had heard her plea and had not delayed in responding. And in that very moment I heard the King say,

“The rain is on the way.” 

God “who does great things and unsearchable,
    marvelous things without number:
He gives rain on the earth
    and sends waters on the fields;
He sets on high those who are lowly,
    and those who mourn are lifted to safety.” Job 5:9-11

Words Matter

Words matter. How we say them, who we say them to and the heart behind them. Sometimes the smallest word can have an incredible impact on your heart. Well-timed words of encouragement from a friend can be like medicine to a hurting soul.

I have been so blessed over the past few months by what God has been speaking into my life. A verse I have heard my entire life John 3:16 speaks some of the sweetest words about love. This is a precious verse that we as believers can rest on, walk on, hang our faith on and trust in. Words matter and there is one word in this verse that I just cannot get out of my mind. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

We have a habit in our society of throwing words around. We “love” our spouse, but we also “love” pizza. Words matter. Our Heavenly Father put the context for love in motion when he gave us John 3:16 and that little word “so.” He could have easily said “He loved us” and that would have been incredible, but He went a step further and said He “so” loved us. So many blessings are wrapped up in that little word. The God of this universe loved you and me enough to send His only son to die so that we could have everlasting life.

We are blessed to be loved by, “so loved,” by the One who created us. He speaks blessings over us, peace around us and strength into us. This world is so quick to tear down and devalue, but His words speak life and truth and freedom. This precious Savior so loved you and me, and His word continues to save souls. I truly believe God is reminding me through this little word “so” that words matter, people matter, and how I love them matters. We are on a mission as believers to spread the gospel in our circles as well as outside our circles. We are to spread the gospel to those that don’t look like us or dress like us, and how we do that matters. The words we use, how we say them, and who we say the to, the heart behind them, it all matters.

A Name

What’s in a name? My daughter’s name, Kristina, means Christian and my son’s name, Gabriel, means God is my strength. We put a lot of thought into naming our children. Or I did anyway. I wanted to make sure their names would flow and sounded firm and grounded. I wanted their names to mean something and be worn by them. A name… it holds a lot of meaning.

HIS name…oh, friend, is power…it’s healing…His name is L•I•F•E 🙌 Jesus truly is the answer to every question we could ever ask. I’ve asked a lot of whys in my life but without fail just speaking the name Jesus fills the empty void.


If we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. Acts 4:9-11

Paul … turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. Acts 16:18

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 1 John3:23

The Sovereign God is Writing the Story

“But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?’ As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50:19-21 ESV

“But Job replied, ‘You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?’ So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.” Job 2:10 NLT

The story of Joseph, Jacob’s favored son, is a powerful example of God’s sovereignty on full display. I’ve often reminded myself that I can literally read the entirety of Joseph’s life story in a matter of minutes, or hours. However, he lived it. He lived all of it. Years of trauma. Years of frustration. Years of unfulfilled dreams. When we finally see Joseph come to power in Egypt as Pharoah’s second in command, he’s not a dreaming kid in a colorful coat anymore, and his visions of bowing wheat sheaves have all but faded. It’s really an incredible story. A story only the Master Story Writer could pen.

There’s no denying the hand of God on his life, carrying Joseph through various hills and dark valleys. I think we sugarcoat the difficulties he endured and downplay his demonstration of utmost integrity. We often think it was basically a walk in the park with a couple of unpaved paths perhaps. However, there is no downplaying his summary statement to his brothers, “God did it.”


I wonder if Joseph ever told them the whole story, the drama of it all. I wondered if he told his brothers how he earned his place as top-slave in Potiphar’s house. How he resisted the temptation of Potiphar’s skanky wife. How God granted him the insight to interpret the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker. I wonder if his brothers rubbed their heads with mouths open as he told of being brought from prison after two more years to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh himself. It really is an incredible tale. But not necessarily one that I would personally characterize as a “favored” journey, right?

I mean, do you think Joseph was a little hesitant when Potiphar and his wife came asking for food during the famine? Did Potiphar’s wife wink at him when she stood in line? I don’t know. There are so many questions I have… I digress.

Joseph’s acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty is astounding. Saying to his brothers, who sold him — instead of killing him because that would’ve been unreasonable…insert eye roll— “God actually brought me here to save us. It was His plan.” 

Breathtaking. I think there should be a “Selah” after this verse!

I find myself literally speechless.

This moment in history is only rivaled by Job’s response to his severe loss and terrible suffering. Job says, “God gave it to me to begin with, and He can take it away whenever He wants. Praise Him!”

I’m sorry. What??

The realization that Job never receives any explanation in his lifetime is utterly astonishing. At least Joseph sees a full circle, but Job, not a word.

Who are these people who worship a God that does what He wants?

Who is this God who …does what He wants? …and without explanation?

He is the Sovereign Lord, Creator of Heaven and Earth.

He is the King of all kings.

He is worthy of all praise.

He is the Master Story Writer, the Master Composer, the Master Artist.

In the midst of your suffering and turmoil, you can trust Him.

Worship Him.

Dusty Feet

“Do you follow Jesus this closely?” 

I read the bumper sticker as the car whizzed by me. It was rush hour traffic and I was, as I often am, in a hurry. I laughed to myself at the implication. I hadn’t given the thought provoking bumper sticker much more attention, hadn’t spent any time pondering it until later the following day. It was Friday night, I was tired and weary from a broken world, difficult work week and issues at home that just couldn’t seem to go away. I was doing what I often do, pressing into Jesus and pressing on. The pressing was feeling more and more like crushing. Dinner time was fast approaching and while I wanted desperately to avoid cooking dinner, the gnawing in my stomach and the persistent pleas of my offspring pushed me into the kitchen. 

I began the task of preparing spaghetti sauce from a jar and making a salad. I moved about the kitchen and my shadow sat patiently beside me. When I moved, she moved, when I turned she turned, perhaps her motive was innocent and rooted in facts. 

I am a clumsy cook. Inevitably I would drop some morsel of something she would make into a snack. Perhaps that is why she sits so closely and so intently. Perhaps it is because she likes to be around me.

I am told when I am not home she looks for me and she will whine in her waiting. 

I began to stir the not-so-homemade sauce and I said to my Dapple Doxie Macy, “Are you trying to feel the dust from my feet?”

My feet were in desperate need of a pedicure, they were achy and my nails unpolished. My feet seemed to be a reflection of my very soul. I  was remembering something my friend Denise told me several years ago. A story of a rabbi. I can still, in my mind’s eye, see her sitting and recounting the story of the rabbi and his student. She looked like a rabbi herself, a teacher, patient and wise teaching her students.

Way back at the time of Jesus, if a Jewish man wanted to become a disciple of a rabbi (teacher) he was expected to leave his family and his way of life. His job was to follow his rabbi. The teacher and student would live together 24 hours a day—they would walk from place to place, teaching and learning, studying and working. They discussed and memorized the Scriptures and applied them to life.

It was the student’s calling, to “cover himself in the dust of [the rabbi’s] feet,” studying his teacher’s every word, watching his every move. When the rabbi moved, the student moved. When the rabbi stopped his student stopped. If a student followed his rabbi so closely he would “walk in his dust.” In doing so, he became like the rabbi, his master, his teacher.

That evening as dinner was finished up and I was about the business of being mom and wife I was reminded to follow so closely that I am covered by the dust of my own Rabbi, my Jesus. If I will do that, follow Him as closely as Macy follows me, I won’t be nearly as weary and worn, and the blessing of His presence alone would be encouragement and healing to my soul. 

A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Luke 6:40


Forgiveness is often a hard place to live. We spend our lives searching for peace and forgiveness and oftentimes when we “find” it we struggle to actually live in it. I can’t speak for you, but for me I find myself often living in the rabbit hole of shame, regret and guilt for past mistakes and poor choices. Personally, I can encourage you to grab hold of the forgiveness that is readily available, but yet here I stand struggling to grab hold of it myself.

The world is fully of bullies, but most days we are the biggest bullies we will ever face. It’s hard to fight the regret, the shame and the mistakes that replay in our minds over and over like a bad movie that just won’t end. Over the years those bad choices and mistakes sort of take a life of their own in our mind and before long that story, that lapse in judgment, is now larger than life. So we spend hours and days and weeks replaying it and dissecting every part of it.

Friend, can I just tell you that no matter what story is raging in your mind Jesus died on the cross for you…for me! We are…well, FORGIVEN. No matter what our story looked like back then, no matter what road we find ourselves on now and no matter what circus our future holds the one thing that remains is that Jesus’s blood is enough!

Regrettably sometimes I belittle what Jesus did on the cross as if it weren’t enough. I walk around with my head hung low as if Jesus’s blood wasn’t enough to cover the sins of someone like me. But, ya’ll, he was…and it is! Jesus IS enough and his blood IS enough! If I could go back and tell my younger self a thing or two it would be to let it all go and grab hold to the precious gift Jesus has offered to me. Since I can’t go back in time I stand here yelling at you that you, my friend, ARE enough and Jesus’s blood IS enough to cover your sin, your shame and your guilt. Hold your head high, girl, because you ARE forgiven!

Uncashed checks

I have a confession to make…. I am old-school sometimes in how I pay for things or give a monetary gift. While I like the convenience of using a card, I have not gotten into using some of the virtual payment systems that so many use, and sometimes I want to write a check. Yes, a piece of paper with my handwriting on it.  If you get one of these from me, it is a promise of value to you; a promise that I have money in an account that you now can access. But it is only a piece of paper until you take it to the bank and cash it – that is when its true value is realized.  That is when it becomes more than a piece of paper and some ink. You can put that check in a drawer and leave it, but it won’t be useful to you or anyone else.

I have been thinking about how this could be analogous to the promises God has made. Promises I read about in His word but often don’t “cash.”  I don’t stand on that promise, or I get weary of praying and waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. As I start a new year, I wonder what promises I have from God that I have not claimed, that I have not continued to believe are meant for me. What are my “uncashed checks?”  I want to begin searching for and standing on God’s promises that I have not accepted, believed, and cashed.

As I start looking at God’s promises in the Old Testament, I see how many times a promise is confirmed by repeated scripture and how sometimes it is fulfilled over many generations. I take heart in the realization that God’s promises are always fulfilled and God’s timing is always perfect.

Psalm 145:13 says “… The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.”  

Read to Feed Myself

“It has goat’s milk in it.” 

I turned the package over in my hand and examined it albeit not very closely. It was a soap gift pack. 

“It is made with goat milk and it is supposed to be good for your skin. Makes it all luxurious!” She knows me well enough to know I like things that are a little homesteady. I appreciate a yard egg from a named yard Chicken far more than I do a generic container of eggs collected from a mass of unknown, unnamed chicks by an unnamed and unknown egg collector. I like to know that Happy the Chicken produced my brown egg on the 12th of last month as I am breaking it and about to scramble it.

I love walking barefoot in the grass far more than I do in a pair of designer shoes. I love dirt and the smell of rain. I find healing outside and I am a firm believer that my darkest days are often directly linked to the short days of winter.  I am a firm believer that the beauty of nature points to the Creator, and the skies themselves declare the glory of the Maker. 

An all natural homemade goat’s milk soap seemed right up my alley, and I wondered if she half had me in mind when she purchased the gift for the gift exchange game. It must not have come as a surprise when I stole the gift from another family member, she smiled and tacked on another pitch for the “goatsmilk soap” gift. “They said it’ll feel nice when you use it.”

I nodded in understanding and agreement as I tucked the gift away and carried on with the day It wasn’t until later that night that I looked at the soap gift pack again. I was excited to use my goat milk gift when I showered that night. I stood in my bathroom and began to examine my gift closer. The scent was gingerbread and written in large print on the packaging “Vegan Soap Gift.” I looked at the individual pieces, each one stated it was gingerbread but each item had printed in bold upon it the word “Vegan.” I laughed again recalling her explanation that the product was made of goat milk and the clearly stated declaration of vegan on it. 

The two terms are incongruent. She was convinced it was made from an animal product yet the item itself declared in fact it was not made with any animal products at all. I used the soap and despite it note being made of goat milk it is still nice and luxurious, I still feel pampered when I use it and I love it just the same as I would if it were made of goat milk and maybe even more because that non-goatsmilk soap has taught me a valuable lesson. 

There are times when we take the verbal word of another as truth, I assumed since she bought it the gift-giver would know exactly what she had purchased and chances are she genuinely thought she had purchased the goatmilk soap gift and verbally passed that along to me. I did not even question what she had said. In all likelihood I would not have even given it a second thought had I not actually seen the emboldened words myself. 

The Word is like that, sometimes I take what someone says as the truth because I presume they know more than I, they should know more, or they have walked with the Lord in such a way that I assume if they say “it is in the Bible” I do not even question it. I simply accept it. That soap reminded and encouraged me to commit to learn for myself, to read and study the word in such a way that I can know for myself what is Biblical truth and what is hearsay from the mouth of another. I have been given the ability to feed myself by reading God’s word for myself.

A Fresh Start

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 

If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.” 

And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:14-15, 19-21

Joshua divides up the land, gives to each tribe their allotment, charges them to serve God, tells them to continue taking possession of the land, and then, he dies. In my reading today, I finished the book of Joshua and began Judges. As I turned the page from Joshua 24 to Judges 1, I found myself hesitating, mourning over what I know will happen not only through the book of Judges, but the continued downward spiral as the people of God do not look or act like the people of God. 

The hope and faith of Joshua’s generation is palpable as he nears the end of his life and his term as their leader. When you consider all they’ve been through with Joshua at the helm, the weight of his death is truly significant and quite devastating. These grown-up children who walked the desert with their unbelieving parents, stand in the Promised Land with renewed hope and steadfast faith in their hearts. They want to do right. They want to serve the LORD God. They believe, in this moment, that they will continue as God’s people who worship and obey God. 

Joshua’s death is the ending of an era, an era of faith and new beginnings. He led them into the Promised Land. He fought as their Warrior-Captain. He wasn’t perfect by any means. He made mistakes and took wrong turns, but here they were. They were in the very tangible promise that God had made to their ancestors, milk and honey dripping from their mouths.

At the beginning of a New Year, we can’t help but think of fresh starts and new beginnings. We tend to consider our mistakes and build new goals. We evaluate our missteps and look to new plans. A fresh clean calendar. A new planner. New workout clothes. New running shoes. A fresh budget. A new one year Bible plan. A new journal. All the things! There is hope and a sense of a clean slate. It is encouraging, right? We proclaim with Joshua’s generation, We will serve the Lord. We will do better. We will do right. Hallelujah and amen.

But… grouchy Mondays still come. The bills still need to be paid. The house still gets messy. The car still needs fuel. And, even in the new year, a cinnamon roll with a large frappe is still not the best choice for helping us in our health journey. We falter. We oversleep. We skip our session at the gym. We get bored reading through the genealogies, and grossed out reading Leviticus. And, low and behold, we are still sinners this year just like we were last year. 


Wow! Thanks, April. This is so uplifting for a New Year’s blog post, encouragement from The Word. 


Here’s the good news. Our lives in many ways, resemble the habits of those Israelites who will live and die during the times of the Judges. 

We, like them, will forget the goodness of God. 

We, like them, will neglect our worship of God. 

We, like them, will worship other things besides Almighty God.

Where’s the hope? Why can’t we keep it together? Why do I falter? Why do I still sin?  

Well, Hope is on His way. The Truth is coming.

Joshua, in all his integrity, was not perfect. He was a great leader. He was a powerful warrior. He was obedient to what Moses had instructed. But he was not Jesus Christ. He could not remain perfect. He could not fully and completely follow the Law without fault. He grew weary in his old age. He could not completely conquer the land. He fell short. All the things we need, all the things Joshua and his people needed, only Jesus Christ could be. 

This year, when you find yourself setting a few new goals and pursuing new habits, and then falling back into old patterns all over again, look to Jesus. He’s the only One who can enable you to truly serve the LORD. 

Blurry Vision

My vision is pretty bad. My prescription is so high that even with thinned lenses and thick frames my lenses still stick out around the edges. I’m not considered legally blind but I’m pretty close. I wear contacts for the most part, and as I’ve been blessed with more years it is getting harder for me to read without reading glasses.

I was recently trying to read and take notes during a church service and I was getting frustrated with the on and off of the glasses. With my contacts I can see far off but up close is blurry, so the glasses go on to read and write and come off to see the preacher. On, off and then on, off. Completely frustrated I finally just snatched those suckers off my face and chunked them into my purse.

I find myself doing the same thing with my life. I do something that is helpful and allows me to focus and then I sabotage myself in one way or another and everything becomes blurry. I used to think there was something wrong with me, but recently I’m coming to a place of understanding.

Look, we all live our lives in the open for the world to see. But, as women, we tend to act like everyone has a microscope that they are viewing us through. We believe the lie that everyone sees everything so we might as well just give up because they know we’re gonna fail and they’re waiting on us to fail so we just quit. But, the thing that I’m coming to learn is that I am the one viewing myself through the microscope. I am the one dissecting every little flaw. I’m the one believing that I will fail. We’re so good at being someone else’s cheerleader that we forget to cheer for ourselves.

So, today, even if it’s hard, cheer for yourself. Put the microscope where it belongs…in the trash. Accept yourself for you! That flaw that you hate makes you relatable to someone else. You, my friend, are beautifully flawed and that makes you magnificent! 🌟