Shame creeps in like a thief in the night when we least expect it, doing only what shame can do: steal our joy, make us feel unworthy, unloved, not enough, dirty, and the list goes on. It can even paralyze us if we allow it...

My husband and I were cast suddenly into a very difficult season of life four and a half years ago when not just one but both of his parents had major life-threatening health crises within a month of each other. It has taken a long...

College is a season in life when you have the most independence and the least responsibility. Over the past three and a half years, I’ve found that statement to be entirely true. I would suggest that you could replace the word “independence” with “energy” and...

On the Mary/Martha pendulum, I’m a Martha. My feet hit the floor in the morning with my to-do list filling my head, strategically thinking about how I will get all of it done as efficiently as possible. It’s how I am wired up....

Our words—they can bring life or death to another person, encouragement or discouragement. Proverbs 18:21 says, "The tongue can bring life or death; those who love to talk will reap the consequences." ...

I am a person who values truth. I cannot stand being lied to. I believe the best relationships are built on honesty and it is one of my goals in life to be as honest as I can possibly be. All of that being said,...

I’m not a rescuer. Never have been—or at least I didn’t think I was. My parents didn’t rescue. They were “we pulled ourselves up by the bootstraps” kind of people and they raised my sister and me to be the same way....

Confession: I’m horrible with directions. And when I say that, I mean, horrible. Like, my-GPS-is-my-lifeline kind of horrible. There have been a few times when I have pulled over on the side of the road because my vision was blurred with actual tears welling up...

I tend to have some (or a lot of) freak-out moments. Google is not my friend, and I often wish WebMD wasn’t even a thing. If you’ve ever experienced a panic attack then you know when that feeling comes over you, the only thing you...

My nine-year-old son loves to talk. He can chatter endlessly. And he only knows one volume: loud. I constantly remind him to use his inside voice, but I am still seeking evidence that he even has one. His greatest challenge is that he speaks before...

We can all agree that spewing thoughtless, harmful words to others is damaging. But I have another idea to consider—what about the unspoken word, the silence we sit in, the words we withhold? What if we really took the time to listen to the voice...

Driving to lunch yesterday I saw a frightening thing. Another car had made a very wrong turn and was traveling the wrong way down an exit ramp of a major interstate, about to enter the wrong side of oncoming traffic! My first reaction was to...

“He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13:3). The word of God speaks clearly about the power of the tongue to wound or heal. Throughout my life I have used the written word...

I find myself in somewhat of a unique place when it comes to the power of words and how I have seen their power of death take over not in what was said, but in what was not said. Words that are spoken have the...

Our community group recently finished sharing life stories. The process is challenging as we seek to be transparent—to focus less on what has happened to us and more on where God has been moving and drawing us to Himself....

Have you ever received an email or text that was so delicately worded, so saturated with cordial fluff, that you had to really filter through every sentence to find the main point? The book of James is the opposite of this. James is as straight-up...

I have found when I am wounded that my natural reaction is to become stronger. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? I don’t typically cower and cry like some might. In the world's terms, "I find my inner strength,” “I pull myself up by my bootstraps,” or...

When I think of what it means to be an Ezer, I see a face. None of the core capacities of our calling as women resonates with me more than that of inviting because of how simply but profoundly that face impacted my life....

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all criticized others before. It may be our spouse, our children, our boss—maybe all three in one day! Criticism is a form of pride, and it can easily be recognized as sin. What’s more difficult, and what...

The email from our community group leaders said they would be out of town, but everyone could still get together if someone wanted to open their home to host. I felt a knot begin to form in my stomach. My fingers were heavy as lead...

Thursdays are trash days. My husband is the one that has taken on the responsibility of taking out the trash for the duration of our marriage. It’s just what he’s always done. There are some duties we share that some couples may not: we both...

Words. They are a necessity in life. From the time the alarm clock sounds in the morning, until it is set again in the evening, we use words. Our words help us navigate life, express our basic needs, and articulate our heart’s deepest desires. Whether...

I have had a weight problem since I was nine years old. The real issue behind my struggle is food. I began to turn to food as a reward when I was a child. As I got older, I found that food brought comfort. I...

Matt once spoke about the necessity of remaining close to our Source of Life, Jesus, if we are to be leaders and disciples. One idea that continues to rattle my brain is the idea that in order to continually grow and be filled with Christ,...

I love my life. I have incredible friends, a wonderful church, a great job, and ways I can serve. But unfortunately, like so many of us, I forget how big my blessing is. This morning I felt jealousy because I am “alone”— wanting to be...