My Favorite Color, Greenville, and God’s Grace!

This is Day 16 of 31 in my Write 31 Days series: 31 Stories of God’s Grace. I also am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Green.” Write for five minutes; unedited.


One doesn’t need to look far to see that “green” is my absolute favorite color. I mean look at my blog….it’s a little overloaded with the color green! 🙂 And my friend Gretchen used to tease me when we would go shopping together. She would spot a green item of clothing and wait to see how long it would take for me to find it. And I also just happen to be wrapped up on this cool Fall night in my favorite green quilt given to me by the dear quilters of Dilworth Lutheran Church when I left there two years ago.

But green also brings some other recognitions in my life too. Green is the color for mental health awareness. And as many of you know, I am the daughter of a woman who lives daily with a mental illness. Green also reminds me of a ribbon that is in a scrapbook I have from my college days. It was my friend Chewy’s favorite color, but it also reminds me of how Chewy left this earth. Chewy committed suicide. Yet despite all of these colors of green in my life, I am reminded of God’s grace and how it rains down and is always and ever enough!

Tonight I also got to jump on a Periscope with all of the #fmfparty ladies who happen to be in GREENville, South Carolina for Allume. I so deeply wanted to be there myself, but flying out of Minot, ND is not cheap at all. When I looked at tickets, they were over $800. YIKES! But these ladies made me smile tonight as we interacted on Periscope together. I felt like I was there with them all. After they signed off and I hopped back onto Twitter for the #fmfparty, I found myself reflecting on these dear friendships. These friendships only could be orchestrated by a God whose grace is daily sufficient for each and every one of us. I cannot even begin to thank God for his grace and the gift of these friendships in my life.

I feel like I am one lucky gal who has been the recipient of God’s grace over and over and over again! And it has been God’s grace that has helped me grow into the woman of faith that I am today!

Readers, don’t forget to register to win a $500 DaySpring shopping Spree. Click here for a chance to win.

Trusting in God’s Grace

This is Day 9 of 31 in my Write 31 Days series: 31 Stories of God’s Grace. I also am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Trust.” Write for five minutes; unedited.


Did you know that God’s grace is sufficient for you?

Because, my friends, God’s grace is indeed sufficient for you.

But, if you are anything like me, it probably has taken you a long time to trust in that promise.

When I went to seminary, I never realized how hard it was going to be (Watch for a post coming up about God’s grace in the midst of hearing the call to seminary!) But at seminary, God reminded me again and again of how I needed to put all of my trust in God because God’s grace was sufficient. God’s grace came in my seminary advisor. God’s grace came in a seminary professor. God’s grace came in new friends.

In addition, as my family has struggled living our story of mental illness, there have been many days when I have not trusted in the power and gift of God’s grace. Yet I have learned that God’s grace is sufficient for us all. God’s grace is sufficient for my mom who daily lives with a mental illness. God’s grace is sufficient for me as a daughter who sometimes gets frustrated with her mom. God’s grace is sufficient for all of us.

Indeed there are days when it is going to be hard for us to trust in the gift of God’s grace. Yet we just need to remember to trust in God.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”–Romans 15:13 (I would add the word grace to this verse as well…May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace and grace as you trust in him)

A John Deere Tractor, A Wheelrake, My Dad and A Whole Lotta Grace!!

This is Day 2 of 31 in my Write 31 Days series: 31 Stories of God’s Grace. I also am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Family.” Write for five minutes; unedited.


My family has taught me a lot about grace through my life. Our Dad especially has gotten really good at showing grace to my sister and I.

I remember one summer in particular, when Dad had taught me how to drive the tractor and wheel rake and entrusted me with the responsibility of raking one of our fields. One sunny North Dakota afternoon, my sister and I were raking a field. Ann was riding on the tractor with me. At one point, I turned the corner too sharp and totally didn’t quite make the corner. The wheel rake was entangled with the fence that marked the boundary for the field. I looked at Ann and Ann looked at me.

For a few minutes, I am pretty sure neither of us showed grace to each other. We argued over why this calamity had happened in the first place. I am pretty sure that I blamed her for being in my line of sight and she probably blamed me for not paying attention to where I was going. After arguing, we jumped down off the tractor and tried to figure out how to get the wheel rake unstuck.

We decided it was a lost cause. We had to admit defeat. Ann and I walked back to find Dad who then came over to find our conundrum. He just shook his head and asked “How in the world did you get the rake that stuck?” As he tried to figure out the best way to untangle the rake from the fence, he was not at all gracious with either of us as he was disappointed in our actions.

But once the rake was unstuck and Dad had a minute to reflect on the situation, he offered us grace; grace that came in his forgiveness to us. I remember that day well. I remember totally turning that corner too sharp and tangling that wheel rake in the fence. I remember my sister and I arguing over what happened. But most of all, I remember that grace that we were offered through forgiveness by Dad and the rest of our family.

It is one of those stories that definitely changed me and did not leave me where it found me. For you will never see me turning a tractor too sharp again…instead I will turn the tractor much wider so I have lots of room to swing that wheel rake around.

“In My Wrestling and My Doubts”

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Doubt.” Write for five minutes; unedited.


There Kate goes again…giving us a word prompt that hits me straight in the gut. 
Sometimes I stand in the mirror, looking at my face and body, self-doubt so easily creeping in. 
Sometimes I hear the news of another friend’s engagement or pregnancy, and I doubt whether it will ever happen for me. I honestly am excited for them, but there is a piece of me that has a hard time hearing those words. 
Sometimes I doubt if I am where God has called me to be in this time and place.
Doubt has a way of doing that, doesn’t it? Doubt has a way of creeping in and trying to tell us lies from the enemy. Yet the truth is that God wants us never to doubt ourselves, but most importantly, God wants us NEVER to doubt God’s promises for our lives. God gave each of  us gifts to share in the world and wants us never to take those gifts for granted. 
Faith=trust; trusting in God. Faith is the opposite of doubt. Faith is trusting in the words of God our Father. We are God’s beloved sons and daughters! Faith is knowing that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not yet seen.”
There are indeed days when I doubt whether or not God hears my prayers.* Actually to be honest, I often wonder if God hears my prayers. I still want to be a mom and a wife, but each and every day that doesn’t happen for me, I doubt a little bit more. Before I know it, doubt is finding its way into my heart and mind yet again.

As I doubt, I am thankful for the reminders that God is always there for us as long as we trust in him. In the words of one of my all-time favorite songs by one of my all-time favorite bands Rend Collective Experiment, I am reminded that God will never leave me or forsake me. The first verse even states “In my wrestling and in my doubts, In my failures, You won’t walk out; You’re great love will lead me through; You are the peace in my troubled seas.” Yes, God promises to never walk out and will be the peace in our troubled seas!
*Where my five minutes ended!

Choosing to Celebrate Life

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Celebrate.” Write for five minutes; unedited.


I have to be honest here friends, I haven’t much felt like celebrating. In fact, if you read my post from the other day (When Life is Wearing On You), you know that life has been wearing on me just a little. But God has this way of knowing what we need and bringing people into our lives to help us know we are not on this journey alone. And for that I am so very thankful and want to celebrate that.

I choose to celebrate all of YOU who are gathered here tonight, who choose to come hear and read my words. You each are such incredible gifts in my life! I LOVE YOU ALL!

I choose to celebrate that my friend is another year older today. I am so blessed to call her one of my dearest friends. Happy Birthday CT!

I choose to celebrate life…as life is so delicate. I think of my new blog friend Andrew who is suffering and more than likely, living his last days.

I choose to celebrate the peace that only God can bring about in a world that is constantly bombarded with fear and war.

I choose to celebrate our similarities rather than our differences.

I choose to celebrate the new life being born into the world each and every day. May they all know the power of your love!

I choose to celebrate the relationships in my life; the relationships that continually nurture me as they each show me the power of your love.

I choose to celebrate that I am a beloved daughter of the one true king and I pray that my friends know this truth too especially on the days when they don’t feel like they are that beloved daughter or son of the one true king.

I choose to celebrate the ordinary and extraordinary moments.
I choose to celebrate the small things and the big things.

And today, during a week, when I haven’t necessarily felt like celebrating, I am taking the time and choosing to simply celebrate!

This is totally the song that popped into my head 
when I heard the word prompt. Enjoy!

The Same Power (A Five Minute Friday Post)

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Same.” Write for five minutes; unedited.

The world is not the same. It has changed since Jesus roamed this Earth. Yes, Jesus will come back again. But the world is not the same now.

There is so much hatred.
There is so much love.

There is so much peace.
There is so much chaos.

There is so much joy.
There is so much sadness.

There is so much injustice.
There is so much service.

This is a world that has been changed; changed by the events of this world. School shootings, refugees drowning, reality television contreversies and so much more. These are all events that have and continue to leave their marks on our world; a world that has changed and is not the same. But as the words to Hebrew 13; verse 9 reminds us “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever.”

Jesus had the power to overcome the grave.
Jesus had the power to call Peter to walk out on the water (and like Peter we must have faith to trust in God)
Jesus had the power to call unlikely fellows like Noah and Moses.

I am reminded of the words to Jeremy Camp’s song Same Power. The lyrics are as follows: The same power that rose Jesus from the grave, the same power that commands the dead to wake, lives in us, lives in us. The same power that moves mountains when He speaks, the same power that can calm a ragin’ sea, lives in us, lives in us. He lives in us, lives in us!”

Saying Yes

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Yes.” Write for five minutes; unedited.


Saying yes is graduating college and realizing that God is calling you to seminary.

Saying yes is hearing God call you to a new path; to a new venture.

Saying yes is trying something new.

Saying yes is getting to move into my own house for the first time.

Saying yes is taking on the Write 31 Days challenge for the first time and sharing our family’s story of a mental illness.

Saying yes is meeting so many new wonderful blog friends because I decided to participate in the challenge for the first time.

Saying yes is going on a sister’s trip with my sister and also getting to finally meet some blog friends in real life.

Saying yes is sometimes saying no so that I can spend time with dear friends and family.

Saying yes is asking others to pray.

Saying yes is living out my one word 365 for the word: brave.
And in being brave, I am hearing God call me to new brave adventures.

Saying yes is getting to hang out with my dear girlfriends on my birthday tonight.
Saying yes is laughing and crying and just simply being me with those friends.

Saying yes is treasuring yet another year of life and celebrating who I am and who God has called me to be in this time and place.

And sometimes saying yes is listening to where God might be leading me next.

What is God calling you to say “yes” too?

Dreaming of My Own “Happily Ever After”

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Alone.” Write for five minutes; unedited.


I heard the word prompt tonight and so many emotions begin to bubble up inside of me. Next week I will turn 37. I am still single; still yearning yet to be a wife and a momma. It is something that I have always wanted. And I see those around me; friends of all ages in their homes with their families and I can’t help but ask. When will it be my turn? Or am I going to be alone forever?

I come home each night to an empty house. I lay down in my bed no one to cuddle up next to. I often spend my Friday Nights watching a movie or television show alone on my couch.  Sometimes the tears stream down my face. It is not at all how I pictured my life as a 37 year old. I have always imagined my life as a woman with a husband, 2.5 kids, a dog, and a house surrounded by a white picket fence. I have always dreamed of my very own “happily ever after.”

God knows the desires of my heart and hears them. Yet there are days that my loneliness is more prominent and I sometimes question if God hears them at all. I know God does hear them…..but sometimes especially when I am so lonely that is so much easier said than done.

Tears stream down my face. I wonder when it will be my turn. I wonder if I will always be alone. I wonder if I will ever get to be a mom. I wonder if my house will always be so quiet. I wonder when my time will come. I wonder….but then I put all my trust in a God who I know hears the desires of my heart and who knows what my heart holds; a heart that holds the promises of God and knowing  that I am not alone because God walks with me every step of the way and also puts individuals in my path who also walk with me.

Finding Your Voice

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Find.” Write for five minutes; unedited.


I heard the word prompt tonight and I immediately knew where I was going to go with this word. This post is dedicated to those who feel like they have lost their voice, thought they never had it or just simply can’t find it at the moment.

As a writer, I think it is so easy for us to get caught up in the comparison game and to think we don’t have anything important to say. But the truth is we all have something to say. We all have different gifts. We all have a story worth sharing. There is power in hearing those words “me too!” Yet fear has a way of creeping in–fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of—and giving us laryngitis.

Though God has a way of giving us our voice even when we think we have nothing worth sharing. I am reminded of how in Scripture we hear the words: “Ask and it will be given to you; Seek, and you shall find; Knock, and the door will be opened onto you.” God has a way of giving our voices back to us especially when we ask for God to give us the words we need to speak.

Yet there are also going to be times when we think we cannot find our voice at all. It is especially during those times that I believe we will need to trust each other. We will have to give words to each other’s stories as we speak for each other. The truth is that God sent Jesus to be a voice for the voiceless…to speak for the downtrodden, the lost, and the vulnerable. And in our own vulnerability, God calls us to give voice to each other’s voicelessness.

“In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.”–John Grisham

What I Have Learned This Summer!

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Learn.” Write for five minutes; unedited.

This summer has been a busy summer for me…busier than usual. But throughout the summer, I have continued to learn so much.

I learned that my heart finds so much peace when I take the time to just be and enjoy God’s creation in the Rocky Mountains.

I learned how amazing it is when 30,000 youth and adults gather in a huge stadium in Detroit and declare God’s promises of peace and justice with the world.

This is only a portion of the Gathering!

I learned how sometimes you just have to get out of the boat…and other times you just have to stay. (Thanks for sharing those words FMF Retreat friends!)

I learned how part of my story will always be sharing my family’s struggle with a mental illness. I learned that part of my story will always be that I am a daughter; a daughter of a woman who daily struggles with a mental illness.

I learned that YOU are my people! I was so blessed to meet three of the Five Minute Friday ladies last weekend while I was in Nashville with my sister. You all are my heart!

I learned that I value spending quality time with my sister. It will be a long time before I forget our trip.

I learned that relationships and friendships go far beyond computer screens. They are found in Twitter handles and Voxer messages. They are found in sharing our stories and hearing those two simple words “Me, too!”

I learned that God continually widens the circle to bring more friends into the friendship circle.

I learned that I am never through learning! Life is always teaching us!

What have you learned this summer my friends?