When You Don’t Move Mountains

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move.  When You don’t part the waters, I wish I could walk through.  When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You, I will trust.  I will trust.  I will trust in You. – chorus from Lauren Daigle’s “Trust in You”

Trust, although a simple concept, can be a tricky practice.

I am in a season of so many questions and so few answers.  I’ve compared it to juggling so many balls without knowing where they’ll land, but I’ve determined that really isn’t accurate.  I’m a juggler without balls – looking for some balls to juggle.  Some are starting, maybe to materialize, but the picture is still really hazy…and they don’t really look like the ones I was hoping for.

Truth is You know what tomorrow brings…[and] I want what you want Lord and nothing less.

This is my prayer in the darkness of the unknown and the chaos swirling around me…

Lord, help me discern Your perfect will for my next steps.  Close every door except the one You want for me.  Give me patience for Your timing.  And, above all, thank you for Your unending love and grace for my little self.



In Harshness and Discomfort

“This may seem unnecessarily harsh to you and me.  But God is never unnecessarily harsh…Our discomfort is not a reflection on the character of our loving and tender God.”  Whitney Capps in Disease Details from First 5 devotional

God is never unnecessarily harsh.  I’m not sure why this reverberated with me this morning, but it really did.

I think some of it was the “unnecessarily” part.  It’s big and powerful in this season of almost tangible discomfort.

It doesn’t say He won’t/can’t be harsh, but He is always only to the level that is necessary and no further.

I know from earthly experience that tough love is necessary for growth and learning (thanks mom and dad).  So, it only makes sense that my heavenly Father finds it even more necessary at times.

12140686_10108009578103094_4121437424497833696_nIf only I could learn things the first time or the easy way.  But, I’m guessing it is my stubbornness and interfering that often determines the level that is necessary.

So, in this period of uncomfortableness (that sometimes feels like unnecessary harshness), I’m trying to stay focused on the lessons that God is trying to teach me.  Why is this necessary?

While He has already shown me my need for a reminder of humility, I know there are more lessons to come.  I’m confident He will reveal this little by little as my impatient soul learns, yet again, to wait.


Light in the Dark

If you are walking in darkness without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God.- Isaiah 50:10

Perhaps this sounds a bit melodramatic, especially since spring has sprung here. Birds are chirping, daffodils blooming, and trees budding.

And I have no earthly clue where I will be living in a week or even a month. I have no clue what to tell my two year old when he says he wants to go to HIS house. And that’s a big deal.

Yet, I do know where we are welcome and safe and loved. And that’s a big deal as well.

light in darkAnd so there are rays of
light-  when walking in faith there is always light.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it. John 1:5

So I walk on, keep faith, and fear not.
And count my blessings- the rays of light, everyday.

Because everyday, even amongst the unknown, there are rays of light, and that is the Easter story.

Light- despite darkness.

  • J

Time for Combat

I haven’t really thought about purity since my wedding. It was finally something I could lay down; too long a battle justified in earthly logic, finally right with God (at least in this) – if just by default.

But I’m thinking about purity again. Temptations of nonsexual nature, luring me to unrighteous living, impure thoughts.

Separation from God – completely founded in earthly logic-  this is Satan’s specialty.

Logic vs faith

Temptations…mine are still the same…well, the same since the wedding.

Hard to love people. People the world would justify cutting off. People who only hurt (in a million paper cuts sort of way).

And tone. Always the tongue with me. Wanting to explode, wanting to tell off. Flinging around unintentional, yet fully aware, disrespect.

And I try and I fail. These things, these ploys are well crafted ,specific actions, temptations from the devil. They are hand designed just for me, with my logic and my weaknesses in mind and they set me in impure actions and ungodly ways and hold myself and those I love back from Christ.

And earthly logic does not matter.

“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead I do what I hate.

But if I know what I am doing is wrong this shows that I agree the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong.

It is sin living in me that does it”

Romans 7:15-18 (paul)

impure thoughts on easterAnd the combat to sin is still prayer. Power accessed through Jesus Christ. I don’t have to be a slave to my sins. I don’t have to live in impurity because of my weak flesh.

Jesus came flesh and all; He holds my weakness. He trades me His power for my failures straight up.
I’d be a fool to forget, to say no on the cusp of Easter.

“He himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live in righteousness; for by His wounds I am healed” – 1 Peter 2:24

  • J

Mermaids and Miracles

1898042_10107966926093064_7618994537071331732_nLast week, I was blessed enough to go on an adventure with my nephew Nici to Omaha – just the two of us.  I cannot put into words how much I enjoyed this.

As usual, he taught me a lot and had me reflecting on what an amazing God we serve.

One of the things he was most looking forward to was swimming in the “big pool,” which was actually pretty modest.  However, it did not disappoint.

Our first night, he was amazed when we made it down to the big pool.  Imagine our surprise when we found a mermaid swimming there!

…okay, it was really an early teen with a mermaid tail, but that didn’t matter!  To a 2 year old, it was magical!

10392296_10107962848943704_8969936127370435175_nEvery time she went under water and flipped her tail fin, he would grab my face with both hands, bring our faces close together, and with eyes wide with amazements ask excitedly, “TiTi, did you see that?  Did you SEE that?”

And yes every single time the excitement was so great that he had to ask twice in rapid succession…and every time I enjoyed it as much as the last.

His excitement was contagious.  His amazement at this miracle of seeing a mermaid in real life.

Since then, I can’t help but think about why I/we don’t respond that way every time we see God’s hand, His daily presence and miracles in our lives.  We should be standing on the mountaintop shouting, “Did you see that?  Did you SEE what God just did???!!!”

Couldn’t/wouldn’t this be contagious?  How powerful might that be for non-beievers if all around them people were pointing out all the ways God is at work in our lives with uncontainable excitement.

After all, mermaids are pretty awesome, but our God is even more amazing and present every day.  Working miracles all around us, waiting for us to ask others, “Did you SEE that?”

  • Shauna

Living in the Unknown

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans for good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. When you pray I will listen. If you look for me whole heartedly you will find me…I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes…I will bring you home again to your own land”  – Jeremiah 29:11-14

Well this move is one for the books. The house we were buying fell through. However, selling ours did not.  So, we are out…and in with my parents while we try and find a home we’re both comfortable with.

And preferably quickly. Because even though we aren’t in captivity, living in transition is difficult even with gracious parent hosts.

no clueIt’s beyond easy to get worried and edgy and irritated with this current hiccup. It’s not at all what we had planned and I’m tired of staying positive; it’s not easy for me.

I physically and emotionally can’t muster the smiles and optimism any longer. I am tired of it all and growing a babe and want some sort of normality for my Bug and Bear.

Yet, it’s not my plan that matters at all (clearly). God has a better plan and won’t allow my fleshy vision to let me settle for anything less than His best. He has a hope and a future and a home for my family.

He sees my babes and holds them; He sees me and holds me.

He has equipped me with all I need to love them through this. To love Chris through this.


And it doesn’t matter that I am tired; I don’t need to rely on my own strength and spirit. All I need to do is call upon the Holy Spirit within me: comfort me, sustain me, and cover my mouth when necessary.

  • J

As Women Raising Daughters

I’m waiting in line to relieve my bladder before boarding begins.


I’m traveling sans kids and it’s weird. I have moments to ponder instead of wrestle copious amounts of snacks and diapers and keep little humans satisfied.


But I sit, err, stand in line watching two older women over themselves.


First concealer, powder, shadow, lean too close, mascara, 2, 3, 4 times, pucker, apply, blot, look closely, inspect themselves.


Fix whatever flaws they see, check again.


Completely transformed they’re ready for the world now.


Or at least a flight to Minneapolis at six am.


And I do a small internal cringe and ponder.


Do men lean in too close, pinch their cheeks, get them rosy, examine their faces for flaws to hide before coming to the world?


And why do we call these things, perceived flaws, imperfections. Normalities would be a better term- since imperfect is the only normal.


And is my unbrushed, unwashed hair approachable (like I tell myself) or out of control? And is my clean face full of flaws to be hidden, uncontrollable as well…


I guess that fits, uncontrollable and me…


12795281_10107890358574984_4661776348530110578_nI pray my bug sees her beauty, her perfections and normalities. She doesn’t need to paint her face to wake up, that she boldly faces the world straight up, straight on.


I pray she doesn’t lean in too close to change who she is, to feel MORE beautiful. Because my word is she breathtaking.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for tutu’s and glitter, and girly things like make-up. I don’t wear it often, but I am all for it.


But I pray as women, as women raising daughters, we are comfortable enough in who we are, who God designed us to be, to face the world bare faced and free sometimes. And to know the beauty in that.


And to love our crazy unbrushed uncontrollable hair.

  • J

Bubbles and Sheep

Chinese New Year Illustration of a Sheep by Alice Feaver

“Pour yourself out.  Don’t testify about how much you love me and don’t talk about the wonderful revelation you have had, ‘just feed my sheep”’ – My Utmost for HIs Highest (about John 21:17)

First, I can note the irony that I am using this verse in a blog that does testify my love for him, revelations I am uncovering, struggles I lean on Him for deliverance (or some semblance of understanding).  However, I believe Oswald Chambers’ and Jesus’ point is that Christianity can never just be about words.  

Our love for Christ means nothing without fruit.  Jesus also said that we will be known by the fruit we bear. (Matt. 7:16).  

So, words, this blog, are not enough.  My actions show Christ my love.  My willingness to feed His sheep.  This means feeding those who are unknown and unlike me.  This means reaching out of my comfort zone.  This means feeding and living life alongside the least of these.

Valais Blacknose sheep
The cutest sheep I’ve ever seen (Valais Blacknose Sheep)

It is easy to say and much harder to do, which I think is His point.  True love results in selfless action.  That’s why Jesus died for us.  It’s why we are called upon to do the difficult and uncomfortable task of giving too much, loving more than is comfortable, stepping out of the comfortable bubble we can make for ourselves to be His hands and feet to those who see it least (and often need it most.)

As much as I feel the calling to serve others, I love my comfort bubble.  So, it is a good reminder that God has no place for comfort in a radical relationship with Him.


Blood and Oil

I often use the phrase….we’d be divorced.

And while I don’t always fully mean it, I always kind of do.

Quietly I wonder how strong our marriage is. Quietly I question if this flawed, faith filled girl and this stubborn, factual boy will make it.

We have so many issues, big and small, obvious and hidden and take on the world in opposing fashion.

blood and oilAnd its less ying and yang and more blood and oil (a fitting analogy if you dig deeper)

And sometimes I quietly wonder if I chose poorly, this good man of no faith, maybe we don’t work so well.

But I’m the one who’s changed, not him, the only thing the same are the jeans I wear, and those are looking shabby. I’m not the woman he married.

And yet, he keeps choosing me, everyday, and I keep choosing him.

And I love him still, I love him despite my changing and his stability. And I know given the chance I’d make the same mistake again (I’m either blinded by love or that stupid). Because this shared flawed work in progress marriage, it’s worth it. And those babes I so adore are half his.

Half him.

And so I pray one day his facts will be broken and we can cling to things unseen together, cling to the cross and its promises long into our old age, still works in progress, still a marriage in progress, still together.

  • J


photo.PNGWhen transitions strike and I have less control than even before I either eat less or physically rearrange my house. A small stab at feeling like I have control over my greater environment.

We are moving today.  So, the house is utter chaos – rearrange and pretend control, futile.

And the growing babe demands I eat, and often, and preferably avocados.

So I’m trying hard to focus on my attitude (the one thing I can control, theoretically) and what I put out into the world.

My nici bear is sensitive to change. Emotional turmoil easily activated and his home disassembled has his 2 yr old mind and body on edge.

I am his safe net and strong hold. What I emotionally put in his world matters immensely.

As someone prone to overreacting and wearing all my feelings on my sleeve, this requires a lot of faith work. A lot of asking God to be my firm footing, so that I can be Nici’s. To cover my mouth, so that comfort comes out not confusion.

To open my eyes to the innumerable blessings compounding in the chaos each day.

And also choosing to ask “how can I bring my best to God, today.”

Not my tired, not my worn out, not just my pleas for help, but my personal best, because He deserves it.

And once again, I think it comes down to attitude (and opportunity).

Trying hard to not miss an opportunity to show his love. To be open and willing to all his little nudges even when it’s inconvenient.

To having an attitude of grace and humility. Slowing myself to serve others. Repeatedly. Because that is how I serve my God.

And being pleased with what I’m given sleepless nights and all.

  • J