I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “deep.” We would love to have you join us.

As I sit down to write this, the sounds of drills humming are echoing in the room next to me. Sawdust is flying. Nails are being driven deep into the wood as new cupboards are going in. This is something I’ve been waiting for.

In the room next to that, my kitty is hiding out under the guest bed. She is tender as she got spayed and front declawed yesterday. Stitches are deep in her belly. She is not very happy with me. But I know in time, she’ll like me again.

There seems to be a paradox here but I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps I’m thinking too hard and too deeply. But what I do know for sure is God’s love for all of us. God’s love is as wide and as deep and high as it can be! God’s love is deep for God’s beloved children!

And because I couldn’t get it out of my head, I had to add this song too. 

Fear Not, My Friends!

(This blog post was inspired by my friend David’s Advent series for his church. Thanks for the inspiration. You can read about this series here: Fear Not) 

Fear is running rampant in our world.

Fear of our neighbor.
Fear of not enough money.
Fear of illness.
Fear of death.
Fear of…
The list keeps going and going!

One doesn’t have to look far to see this fear paralyzing us all. We are afraid to try new things because fear has this way of taking hold of us and paralyzing us. And when we turn on the news, this fear is only exacerbated.

We don’t need the world to tell us to fear the world. We are good enough at creating our own fear and anxiety. In fact, there are many in our world who live daily with anxiety; trying to find a sense of calm in their daily lives.

In Scripture, the words “Do not be afraid” appear 365 times; one for every day of the year. I feel like I sound like a broken record, but this does not seem like a coincidence to me. Jesus comes into the world to break the chains of fear. Jesus looks us each in the eye and reminds us to fear not.

But are we willing to trust in Christ’s promises? Are we willing to turn to him in the midst of our fears and doubts?

Fear is all around us! But these words from Jesus are words of promise!

Fear not, my friends,


Reluctant=”feeling or showing aversion, hesitation, or unwillingness” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Have you ever been reluctant to try something new? I know I have!

The more I think about it, the more I realize that my reluctance is often caused by fear. So often in life we let fear grab hold of us and tie us to our chairs. Fear has a way of stopping us dead in our tracks.

But the truth is that God walks with us in the midst of our reluctance and our fear. When I first started praying about respite foster care, I felt this nudge from God but so often I would subside that nudge. I would push it down and forget that I even felt it. But the truth is that I have known all along that this is a ministry that I truly believe God is calling me too. Yet I let fear get in the way!

Once I let go of the fear, I have found a freedom and a peace that has come over me. A freedom and peace that is overwhelming (in a good way). I can’t help but think of the words “do not be afraid” that appear 365 times in Scripture–one for every day of the year.

As we enter the Advent season, I think of how Mary and Joseph both heard those very words. If Mary had let fear get in the way, would she have been chosen to give birth to the Christ child? If Joseph had let fear get in the way, would he have just let Mary to her own-to raise this child by herself? Jesus entered the world and broke the chains of fear for both his earthly mother and father. Jesus breaks the chains of fear by dying on a cross for our sins because God loves us that much.

Fear is a liar.

Fear will not have the final word.

Sunday Blessings 233

(1) Shrek the Musical with CS and EO

(2) Supper with CS

(3) Chatting with my daddy on the phone.

(4) A newly painted kitchen

(5) Thanksgiving with CZ and her family. It was such a great day!

(6) Fun at the holiday lights parade.

(7) Walking downtown with BK and AK

(8) Spotting BP and SS while in the parade.

(9) Playing cards with CZ’s daughter E

(10) Texting with my faves

(11) A new Nativity for the collection

(12) Christmas movies!

(13) Luna!

(14) Taco soup in the crockpot

(15) Fun mail from JRY

(16) Cozy blankets on a cold day

More Precious than Silver or Gold

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “value.” We would love to have you join us.

Our worth; our value is so often based on what others think of us. They look at our outward appearances but they often don’t know us. They don’t know our heart. Our value can be based in how others see us.

But the truth is we are loved. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our value to God is that we are more precious than silver or God. We shine brightly when we show who others who we truly are created to be.

I am a person who loves and cares deeply. If you are familiar with the Enneagram, I am one hundred and ten percent a two! Twos are helpers. They care for others before they care for themselves. Twos are full of heart. They value service to others.

Value shouldn’t be determined by others opinions but by who we are to God. More precious than silver and gold. Shining brightly with the gifts god has bestowed on each and every one of us.

Learning to Tell Our Story

Expert=”having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)”

I have never really thought of myself as an expert at anything. However, life has taught me a lot about being the daughter of a woman who lives daily with a mental illness. My experiences have shaped me into the woman of faith that I am today. And looking at that definition, I do know a lot based on the experiences I have had in life.

However, it took me a really long time to tell my families journey of mental health. In fact, it took me eighteen years before I really told anyone because I saw the stigma associated with the illness. The story was locked tightly against my heart.

But the day I finally told our story, there was a sense of freedom and peace that immediately came over me. And once the story was released from my heart, I could not not tell my story. It is a huge piece of who I am.

Telling my story has become a huge gift for not only me but especially for many of the people I encounter. I have been able to support friends and family who are struggling. I have been able to share my story in the hopes that it might help someone else.

If I had let fear win, I wouldn’t have ever told my story; our story of mental health. And if I had let fear win, I wouldn’t have applied to lead a workshop at the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza in January 2019. And because I didn’t let fear win, I will be doing exactly that—leading a worship about mental health.

I am excited but I also am a little scared. What do I know that I can teach them? How am I an expert? Why is it important for me to share my story; our story? What I have learned is that I may not think that I am an expert, but my experiences say differently. So I will continue to tell my story and not let fear win!

“The bravest thing you’ll ever do is tell your story”–Brene Brown

Not Letting Fear Win

Fear has this crazy way of catching us dead in our tracks. Often fear paralyzes us and ties us to our chairs. Fear has a way of keeping us from doing those things that we feel called to do. Fear is an emotion every single one of us feels in our life.

The first time I heard Zach Williams song “Fear is a Liar,” I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with the words to this song. The chorus is as follows: “Fear, he is a liar, he will take your breath away, stop you dead in your steps, fear he is a liar, he will rob your rest, steal your happiness; cast your fear in the fire, cause fear is a liar (Fear is a Liar; Zach Williams).”

Fear is a liar but the verses to this song are what really captured my attention. The first verse starts like this: “When he told you you’re not good enough, when he told you you’re not right, when he told you you’re not strong enough.” Friends, I don’t know about you, but I have felt that. I have felt that I am not good enough. I have felt that I am not strong enough. But the truth is that I am good enough. You are good enough. I am strong enough. You are strong enough. I can hold off fear and throw it to the ground if I really try and let myself. And you too can hold off fear and cast it to the ground.

This weekend, I went to our local high schools production of Shrek the Musical. I will admit that some of the jokes were crewd and I was offended a little. But I also saw a really strong message about how we are to be exactly who God calls us to be. I was so proud of my youth who stood on that stage. If they had let fear get in the way of their dreams, they wouldn’t have been up on that stage. Fear would have won.

And how often do we let fear win? I know that there have been many times in my life when I have let fear win! As I finally begin the steps to start respite foster care, I realize how I should have started this process a long time ago. I have to admit that I think I have let fear get in the way too often. But not this time…fear is not going to win! Fear will be defeated!

It seems no coincidence to me that the words “Do not be afraid” appear 365 times in Scripture one for every day of the year. Mary heard those words as the angel came and told her she would bear the Christ child. Throughout Scripture, these very words were spoken to so many. Jesus promises that he will never leave us or forsake us. Even when fear takes hold of us, especially when fear takes hold of us, Jesus takes our hand and walks right alongside us.

Lately I have been listening to Lauren Daigle’s new album Look Up Child a lot. Yesterday as I was thinking about fear, I thought of Lauren’s song You Say. This song is filled with promise that reminds us that fear will not win. “You say I am loved when I cannot feel a thing, You say I am strong when I think I am weak, You say I am held when I am falling short, When I dont belong you say that I am Yours.”

Indeed we are, friends. Indeed we are….and because of this, I will not let fear win! I will turn to the one who promises to walk with me and will hold my hand as I walk through the fear.

Party of One

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “one.” We would love to have you join us.

Just me
Party of one
Waiting for that special one.

As a single woman who desires deeply to be a wife and mom, the number one can be so complicated. One reminds me that I am not a couple. One reminds me that I need to care for me and no other humans at this time. I do have to care for Luna though.

Many of you know that I am beginning the process to do respite foster care. It’s answered prayer and a call that I feel is coming deeply from God. Yet fear often gets in the way. What will it be like to do it alone? Will I be able to do it alone? The truth is that if I trust one hundred and ten percent in God and my faith, I can do this.

I’m reminded of how one holy child came into the world to turn it upside down. One child born in one manger. This one whose cries pierced the darkness and awakened the world. The one who as he grew older wasn’t afraid to sit with tax collectors and sinners. The one who eventually gave his life for ours.

And because of this holy one, I know that I am capable as one of Gods many beloved children.

A Month + Worth of Sunday Blessings (#232)

(1) Fun mail!!

(2) Lunch with DB

(3) Homemade bread from KB and WB.

(4) Chatting with KL on the phone.

(5) A fun family event at church despite the weather.

(6) Homemade knoephla soup

(7) Vanilla lattes

(8) Fun night at BK and AKs house

(9) Getting to hold baby Suzie

(10) First Communion class

(11) Texting with my faves!!

(12) Another phone call with KL.

(13) First Communion milestone at church

(14) Faith Formation network meeting at CTs house.

(15) Chatting with Daddy on the phone

(16) Fall crafting event with KD and RD

(17) Awesome PLN!!

(18) A visit from GW

(19) Hugging MR and JR

(20) Hugging CT and her girls.

(21) Awesome LYO gathering!!

(22) Amazing colleagues and friends.

(23) Running into and seeing MH at the ma in Minot.

(24) Kind words from my friends KG and EG

(25) Seeing JT and TT also in the Minot mall.

(26) Finding my fave Scripture on a mug at the B and N.

(27) Leading worship solo

(28) Lots of great visits at our local assisted living facilities.

(29) Running into LC and CG at the grocery store.

(30) Coffee from DJ

(31) Homemade kuchen from LL

(32) Awesome confirmation class.

(33) Halloween donations from Hardees. Thanks Hardees!

(34) Harney and Sons Cinnamon Spice tea

(35) Another awesome PLN!!

(36) Kind words from parishioners. Feeling very loved and appreciated!

(37) Blue Apron meals

(38) Finishing Write 31 Days

(39) Halloween fun!!

(40) Fantastic books…and sharing them with friends.

(41) Kleenex for when the tears fall during your All Saints Sunday childrens sermon.

(42) Holding baby Athena

(43) Flowers shared with me by Athenas family.

(44) All the saints

(45) A beautiful PLN (Post Liturgical Nap)

(46) A sweet card from a parishioner

(47) Stella Berry wine

(48) A beautiful compliment.

(49) Finally using a gift card I won awhile ago

(50) My warm kitten Luna

(51) Hallmark Christmas movies

(52) Z running up to me and giving me a hug.

(53) Another awesome PLN


I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “burden.” We would love to have you join us.

The weight of the world is heavy. I turn on the news and hear of yet another mass shooting. It’s all too much. We must do something. But what? It feels like such a heavy burden.

“My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Today, many of my friends in the Thousands Oaks California area are feeling burdened. A mass shooting. Then a wildfire. I’ve seen maps. These situations are not that far apart. My friends are tired and weary. Please pray!

It is so easy to feel burdened by the world. But God understands. God loved us so much God sent God’s one and only son into the world for all of us.

“My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”