Category Archives: c. Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word

Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Dental hygiene

True Confession: I don’t have the best dental hygiene.  I have great intentions, I buy the floss, the mouthwash, sonic toothbrushes, whitening/tartar control/fresh breath/clean your whole mouth toothpaste.  Yet too many nights I fall asleep without doing any of it.

One time I was close to sleep in bed and I mentioned to Jeff that I forgot to brush my teeth but I was too tired to get up.  He got up, brought me my toothbrush with toothpaste on it and a cup of water so I could brush in bed.  How awesome is my husband?  I suppose my dental hygiene or lack of affects him as well…

Anyway, this morning was my 6 month dental cleaning.  As I sat in the chair watching Live with Kelly and Michael (by the way, how cute is Kelly Rippa’s new haircut!), my i went to work on my teeth.  She scraped and flossed and polished and got 6 months worth of build up off of them.  For the rest of the day, I kept feeling how clean they were with my tongue.  And if I know me, tonight I’ll do an awesome job cleaning my teeth before bed … and maybe even keep it up for a few days before I fall back into bad habits.

So this got me to thinking about how clean and great my teeth would feel if I actually tended to them the way I should.  Brushing and flossing every morning and night, and maybe even after lunch too.  It would prevent a lot of problems, they would look better, I’d have better breath, and probably wouldn’t get sick as often.

And as I was thinking on this, a Bible verse popped into my mind.

 Morning, noon, and night I plead aloud in my distress, and the LORD hears my voice. (Psalm 55:17)

“Morning, noon, and night” sounds like when I should also be brushing my teeth!  God wants us to go to him morning, noon, and night.  I take that as God wants us to go to him all the time.  That sounds to me like an ongoing, ever-present relationship.  

God desires for me to take action and seek him out all day, every day.  Instead, too often, I am too tired, or I forget, and I don’t pray or read the Bible or meditate on him and his word. I have the best intentions, I buy a great Bible and devotional, I download cool apps, I have the newest, greatest worship music.  But they go untouched.  And then Sunday comes, and I expect the pastor to fill me up with God and cleanse me from the buildup of the world that came as a result of my neglect of God all week long … just like I expect the hygienist to clean up my teeth after 6 months of neglect.

The problem with that is I might leave church feeling great, but soon the world presses in and the decay in my heart continues.  Sunday mornings is not enough for God to truly capture my heart and transform me into the woman he desires me to be.  It is not enough to empower me to walk through my days with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  I need God, morning, noon, and night.  I need God the father, Jesus the son and salvation, and the Holy Spirit my teacher and comforter all day, every day.

So, God, forgive me for too many days of neglect (of both you and my teeth!).  Give me the desire, the discipline, the dedication, and the delight to seek you out morning, noon, and night. Oh, and the discipline to take care of my teeth that you created would be good too!

Pressing on together,


Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Chasing squirrels

Have you ever taken a dog for a walk?  I watch owners walking their dogs.  Some dogs lead the owners and some owners lead their dogs.  Some owners keep the leash short and others give their dogs a long leash to wander off the path.

Every morning after the boys get on the bus, I take our dog for a walk or a run.  Our dog is 5 years old and we just got her in the spring.  (You can read that story here.)  If I’m not running, I give her a lot of slack on the leash and let her explore.  She’s part terrier and as we walk, she’s always sniffing and looking to the left or the right and often darts off the path towards a squirrel or bird or rabbit or any other scent that catches her attention.

When I’m running, I don’t give her much slack and expect her to stay more focused on our course.  As she tries to veer to the left or the right, I reign her back in to keep going.

This morning as she was pulling off towards a squirrel, I was reminded of a bible verse from Hebrews:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

God has set before us a race, a course, a path to walk.  His desire is for us to fix our eyes on Him.  To seek him out each morning and throughout our day.  To follow his lead.  To desire to be where he is.

Yet, we so often fix our eyes on other things … on the squirrels off the path.  We chase after worldly pleasures (money, stuff, success, praise of people, physical pleasure).  And in doing so, we stop running the race marked out for us.

I got a picture in my head of God taking me for a walk.  I’m the dog on the leash.   He’s leading me down a path, but gives the leash some slack.  Off to the side of the path I see a pan of brownies (my squirrel).  I run off to the pan to start eating for pleasure or for comfort.  God doesn’t want me to chase after the brownies … he wants me to go to him for pleasure and comfort, so he reigns me back in.

As we keep walking, I catch a glimpse of the new phone or van or house or TV or clothes or jewelry I want.  I start chasing after them.  Not that there is anything wrong with getting a new phone, or van (which we desperately need), or TV, or clothes, or jewelry.  But is that where my eyes are fixed or are they fixed on the race God has marked out for me?  Am I discontent and always wanting more, or am I satisfied and thankful for what I have?  Again, God reigns me back to the path.

We continue walking.  I start hearing the whispers of worldy praise.  “Good job, Becki.”  “Way to go, Becki.” “Thank you, Becki.” These whispers may have started out for things that I was doing for God: writing a blog, taking care of my body, serving in a ministry role, working, being a mom.  But soon the praise pulls my eyes away from serving God and turns my eyes on myself.  I start doing things to receive more praise and not for God.  I like the accolades.  I like feeling good about myself.  I like people noticing me in a positive way.  And soon, I run off the path chasing things that I think will make people notice me instead of things that I know will turn people’s eyes to God.  And so, once again, God reigns me back to the path.

I could go on and on with all the squirrels (sin) that catch my attention and I chase after.  But I hope you get the point.  In First John, God tells us:

Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.  For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (2:15-17)

So this morning, I’m praying:  God, hold my leash tight.  Reign me in and forgive me for running off the path and chasing after worldly things.  Thank you, Jesus, that you endured the cross, scorned its shame and now sit at the right hand of God to forgive me.  My desire is to love you not the world and the things in the world.  Help me to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles me and to fix my eyes on you so that I will run with perseverance the race marked out for me.  Amen.

Pressing on together,


Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Missing the good works

Ocean City, New Jersey
Ocean City, New Jersey

A month ago, I sat on the OCNJ beach and watched my boys play.  As I gazed out to the ocean, I was reminded of a friend, a friend who was only able to beat cancer through death.  I met her standing at the very beach 6 years before.  We were both standing watching our boys play in the water.  We got to talking and realized that we each had 3 boys.  As we talked more, we realized we were from neighboring towns.  As we talked more, we realized we were in the same M.O.P.S. group and just hadn’t met yet.

Several years later she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She beat that cancer, only to later discover that cancer was back in her liver among other places.  The prognosis was not good.  She fought hard, but still death came.  I was at the same beach, exactly 4 years after meeting her, when I received the call that she had passed away.

This year as I sat watching my boys and thinking about my friend, I was reminded of something that I never really thought about much.  A couple of days before she passed, I had the strong urge to email our group of friends and set up a prayer rotation for her so that someone would be praying for her and her family every hour of the day.  I knew her end was near, so I didn’t think the prayers were for healing, but rather for their peace and comfort.  But, I was on vacation, and the internet connection wasn’t the best, and I often have great intentions with not so great follow through, and it didn’t happen.

As I was reminded of this, it did not come with a sense of guilt or shame or condemnation for not listening to the urge.  Rather it came with a lesson.  I am confident that God was at work providing comfort and peace for my friend and her family during that time, whether I set up a prayer rotation or not.  But God was inviting me and our group of friends to join in with his work.  And I ignored the invitation and lost out on the resulting blessing that comes with obedience.

It makes me think of Ephesians 2:10:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God created us to do Good Works.  He prepared them in advance for us to do them.  He orchestrated that friendship, meeting on the beach, bringing me back to the beach at the time of her passing.  He prepared in advance for me to pray for her.  And I missed it.

Again, I truly believe that my missing it, does not mean that God didn’t still work and provide the peace.  It means that I missed out on the joy of joining in.  I’m reminded of another situation in which I ignored the good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do.

About 9-11 years ago I was driving to church.  As I drove down the street to get there, I passed a not very well clothed and poorly groomed older man sitting on a wall.  I had the strong urge that I was supposed to pull over and invite him to church.  Of course, I came up with every reason why I shouldn’t … he’s a man and my husband isn’t with me … I have my 2-year-old with me … he would think I’m crazy … he might be crazy … do I really want him at our church …

So I drove the last block to our church, parked and went in.  I didn’t give the man another thought.  Until, he walked in the door.  God was at work in that man’s life.  He was bringing him into church because there was something the man needed to hear that day.  And God had invited me to join in with him.  He prepared in advance for me to drive by that man and to see him.  He spoke to me to invite the man to church, and I ignored it.

Despite my disobedience, God still worked in that man.  The man came without an invitation from anyone in the church.  He just came because he thought he should.  I never saw him again.  But I have no doubt, there was a reason he came that day.

God knew that I was uncomfortable talking to people I didn’t know.  He knew I was uncomfortable inviting people to church.  He knew that I needed encouragement in those areas.  And he “tossed me a bone”.  I think about how great it would have felt to have heard that urge to invite the man, to pull over, roll down the window, and actually invite him.  I wouldn’t have had to drive him there, it was only a block away.  And then when he walked in the door, I would have felt amazing and honored that God would choose to use me in that way.

I’m sure there are many other “good works” that I have missed out on.  Like I said, I often have great intentions but don’t follow through.    I’m sure also, that I’m not the only one.  Who knows, perhaps God had to use a donkey to speak to Balaam because Balaam’s 2 servants missed the good works God had prepared for them 😉  (Numbers 2: 22-35)

God, help us to have eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to care, and hands and feet to follow through on the Good Works you have prepared in advance for us to do.  Forgive us for the times we have missed.  Thank you that despite our disobedience, you still work without us and that you still call us your handiwork, your masterpiece.

Pressing on Together,


P.S. I am no theologian!  These thoughts are simply that, my thoughts.  I’m sure there are some that will disagree with me on my interpretation here.  That’s OK with me.  For me, it’s about recognizing that God wants me to join in with his work, but he will still work despite me.

Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: but God

but God …

If you read my posts last week, you could probably sense that my heart was heavy.  It was heavy with concern for my oldest child.  It was heavy with fear and anxiety about the rapist across the street and frustration for my lack of focus with eating, exercising, and bible reading.  I was also a little overwhelmed with some things at work and just the normal stresses of life.  My heart was heavy.  Through my blog posts and my prayer times, I cried out to God.  I cried out for wisdom, for peace, for my faithfulness, for my repentence.

And sometimes when you cry out, you immediately feel better.  But through the week, I wasn’t feeling better … until Thursday morning.

The boys had all left for school and I was sitting down at the table with my coffee and breakfast before heading out to work.  I turned on my Bible app to the verse of the day.  All week, I had been reading it to my oldest before he went to school, but this day in the morning rush, I forgot.  Perhaps I forgot because I needed to read it alone.Psalm 66:19

“But certainly, God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.” (Psalm 66:19)

I read the words and then the flood came.  The flood of tears as I heard God telling me he heard every cry, concern, worry, anxiety, nervousness, stress, and confession that I had cast upon him that week.  The flood of peace as I realized he not only heard them, but he had “attended to” them.  I felt as if God was sitting at the table with me, taking my hand, looking me in the eye and telling me, “I hear you, and I got this.”  And all I could do was fall into his arms and trust him as the tension and burdens lifted away.

I was a wreck,

but God …

heard me, faithfully attended to my cries, lovingly reached out to me, and restored me.

And I suppose that is a nice, feel good story for me,

but God …

has put it on my heart, from that very moment, that this is for you too.  (After all it is in the Bible.) That I was supposed to write about it because I am not the only one who needs to hear it.  I am not the only one who needs to hear that you may be hurting, confused, stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, scared, angry, feeling abandoned, feeling alone, hopeless …

but God …

has heard you, and has attended to the voice of your prayer.

Will you trust him?

Pressing on together,


Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Wrong for a wrong.

On Wednesdays I traditionally shared something I’ve learned about God’s Word.  I like to share it with a story or life lesson that really made an impression on me.  But as I shared yesterday, I hadn’t really been in the Word lately.  So I don’t feel too full of wisdom.

But all day long yesterday, I kept thinking about the “Verse of the Day” on my Bible app.  I read it to my oldest before he went to school.

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

What a perfect verse for him!  He has been teased.  He has been laughed at.  He has been purposefully provoked.  And then his response tends to be so over the top, that he is the one who gets in trouble.  He is the one who ends up having a melt down.  And he is the one who continues the confrontation for days.

So we know what the Bible has to say about it.  Do not pay back wrong for wrong.  But as I read it to him and we talked about what it means.  I felt like I had nothing to honestly offer for how to live it out.  Because the human, protective, mama side of me doesn’t really mind that he kicks someone who teases him, or that he hits them with his pencil, or that he rips up their papers.  Because, frankly, I want to do that too.  And I’m kinda glad that he doesn’t just bottle up his anger, and that he stands up for himself.  But he’s repaying a wrong with a wrong.  He is not striving to do what is good for each other and for everyone.

So, I’m working on figuring out what that good is that he should be doing.  What does it look like when he’s being teased?   (Hopefully, this is a moot point and there won’t be any teasing this year!) Sure, I let the school know about the situations and the teasing and ideally they wouldn’t happen to begin with.  But I know we live in a world where teasing happens.  I want him to be a confident person … so sure of who he is as a Kerchner, as a son of God, that the teasing wouldn’t bother him… at least not send him into a rage of anger … and that he would strive to do good even in those situations.

So for now, I have no wisdom from the Word … just a command that I know we need to follow and the uncertainty of how to do  it!  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

Pressing on together,


Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word (and the shower)

Are you like me?  Do you regularly have to clean hair out of your hairbrush?

When you wash your hair, do your fingers end up entwined with hair that has come out?  Do you then rub it off onto the shower wall for lack of something better to do with it?  Is cleaning hair out of your shower drain a disgusting job?  At any point in the day, do you run your hand through your hair only to have multiple strands come out?  Are you constantly taking pieces of hair off of your clothing?  I answer yes to all of these questions, and it’s not for any health issues.  It’s just my normal “shedding”.

I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m talking about shedding hair.  Well, the other morning as I was in the shower taking the hair off of my fingers and then rubbing it on the wall, I started thinking about God.  Are you curious why the hair made me think about God? (Oh, and don’t worry, when I get out of the shower, I take the hair off the wall and throw it into the trash … well, usually I do.)

The Bible says, “Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”  (Luke 12:7, ESV)  Matthew 10:30 has the same basic sentiment in it.

So, when I was in the shower looking at all the hair in my hand, I started thinking about how often my hair comes out.  If all of the hairs are numbered, then the number is constantly changing throughout the day.  And that means that I am constantly on God’s mind!  If he stops thinking of me for one moment, he’d miss like 5 pieces falling out!

Some people think of God as being a more hands off type of God.  They believe the idea of God creating everything, but not with him being involved in their every moment (kind of like he wound up the world and then stood back and let it run).  But I believe the Bible when it says “even the hairs on (my) head are numbered,” and so I believe that I am constantly on God’s mind because he values and loves me.  Do you believe the hairs on your head are numbered?  Do you believe that you are always on God’s mind because he values and loves you.  Well, I’ll tell you, whether you believe it or not … you are, and he does!

Pressing on together,



Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: The nine

Do you remember growing up when an adult had to sit you down and give you a good “talking to” because you were doing something wrong?  Now, I’m not talking about being yelled out, shamed, or being made to feel small.  I’m talking about an adult lovingly and patiently pointing out what was wrong with your behavior and what you needed to do to correct it.

Well today, at 39 years of age, I had one of those talking to’s.  The words were spoken with kindness, but firmness.

I was rebuked – not shamed.
I was humbled – not belittled.
I was forgiven – not cast off.
I was loved – not despised.

So who gave me this sit down, talking to?  God – through his word.

If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll remember that I confessed not been spending time with God.  So, after I exercised, I purposefully turned on the Chris Tomlin Worship channel on Pandora.  As I went about my morning routine, I sang praises to God.  I also sang choruses such as “Oh how He loves us, Oh how He loves us, Oh how He loves you and me.”  It definitely started out my day focused on Him.

As a result, I found myself seeking God out more through the day, whether it was through prayer or thinking about scripture.  My heart definitely felt lighter and it was good!

When I came home from work, I read from Lisa Whelchel’s “The Busy Mom’s Guide to Bible Study.” In it, I read the story of the ten lepers who were healed.

On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee.  And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests,” And as they went they were cleansed.  Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’s feet, giving him thanks.  Now he was a Samaritan.  Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed?  Where are the nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; you faith has made you well.”  (Luke 17:11-19)

At first when I read it, nothing really stuck out to me.  I took it as a reminder to thank God – but I’ve known that so it was nothing revolutionary.  And so I went about my day.

Later, my family and I went to the Y.  We all ran on the track for a little bit, then Jeff took the boys down to the pool.  I stayed at the track to keep running.  And as I was running, God took that opportunity to give me the talking to.  Not out loud, but in my spirit.  And here’s what the conversation sounded like:

God: Becki, you are one of the 9 lepers.

Me: What???  I’ve never been a leper!  And if I was, I would be the one that came back to thank you, not one of the ones that didn’t.

God: No, you’ve never had leprosy.  But just as the lepers called out, you called out in the midst of your obesity and asked me to have mercy on you.  And I did.  I brought you to a point of brokenness where you surrendered to me your desire to eat whatever you want and to not exercise.  You believed me that you didn’t have to be overweight forever.  You were obedient and disciplined in your eating and exercising.  Just like the lepers believed me that I would heal them and they obediently went to the priest when I told them to go.

Me: hmmm … I see the connection about crying out for mercy and you giving it.  I also get that the lepers were obedient to you by going to the priest and I was obedient by tracking my food and exercising.  But, why does that make me one of the nine lepers.  I have thanked you.

God: Have you?

Me: Yes!

God: Have you?

Me: Yes.

God: Have you?

Me: Yes? Well at least I thought I did.

God: Originally you may have.  But lately whenever anyone asks how you lost weight, you never give me any credit.  You boast of all the work you’ve done.  You tell about your faithfulness in logging your food and getting up every morning to exercise.  You talk more about Jillian Michaels than you do about me.  Instead of thanking me, you are applauding yourself.  You have stopped asking me for mercy and strength and started doing things on your strength.  Just like the 9 lepers who didn’t return, you have gone on your own way.

***I have to stress that when I say that God said these things, it’s what I heard in my spirit. I am not trying to put words in God’s mouth.  Many people might just say I’m talking to myself … take it as you may.

Ouch!  That was hard to hear.  But like I said at the beginning, God spoke in kindness.

I was rebuked – not shamed.
I was humbled – not belittled.

And the best part, I was then reminded of the song I heard that morning.  “Oh, how he loves us.  Oh, how he loves us.  Oh, how he loves you and me.”  And I knew that God calls me to holiness and obedience.  He desires my thanksgiving and heart.  But his mercy and love covers over my shortcomings and failures and imperfections.  Oh how he loves me!

I was forgiven – not cast off.
I was loved – not despised.

So today, I say Thank You God.  Thank you for hearing my cry for mercy in the midst of my obesity.  Thank you for enabling me to lose weight.  Thank you for the healing you are working in my heart and mind.  Forgive me for taking the credit away from you.  Forgive me for lifting myself above you.  Help me to love you and honor you and praise you with all of my heart, all of my mind, all of my strength, and all of my soul.  I say it again, Thank You God!

Have you cried out to God for something?  Has he heard your cry and given you your request?  If so, are you the tenth leper who returns to thank God? Or, like me, are you one of the nine who goes on their way?  Return and thank him for he is good, his love endures forever!

Pressing on together,



Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: My brave friend

In the beginning of the summer, my friend did something so incredibly brave, that I am still thinking about it with awe and respect.  To the rest of the world, it went unnoticed.  But not to me.  She didn’t do it for me, but it has had a huge impact on me.

Are you curious?  When you hear brave, do you think of firemen running up the World Trade Center to rescue people?  When you hear brave, do you think of the many people in our military fighting for freedom?  When you hear brave, you probably wouldn’t think of my friend.  But brave, she is.

Back in the beginning of the summer, I got a note from her.  She told me about an area in her life that she was struggling in.  More than struggling, she was really doing something that she knew was wrong, but she didn’t want to stop.  What she was doing was in the moment making her feel good.  But still, it was wrong.

So why do I call her brave?  Because she reached out to me, she opened up to me, she trusted me with her secret.  How hard that must have been!  First of all, we are all very prideful and to admit that we are not perfect, and that we have a “dark secret” is extremely difficult.  No one wants to feel judged!  Secondly, she needed to trust me to keep it confidential.  And lastly, she knew that by telling me, I was not going to say things she wanted to hear.  I was not going to tell her that what she was doing was OK.  And frankly she didn’t want to stop what she was doing.

So what did I do with it?  I thanked her for trusting me.  I encouraged her in walking away from what she was doing.  And I prayed for her.  Later, I followed up with her to see how things were going.  I’d love it if I could say that as soon as she shared her struggles with me, the desire to continue with it was gone.  That was not the case.  But her heart has been changing, and she has removed herself from the situation to prevent her from doing the things that she knew were wrong.  She had said that she had been avoiding prayer and most things that had to do with God because of the guilt that she felt.  But after telling me about it and knowing that I was praying for her, she found herself able return to God as well.

Last Sunday, I sat in church and thought of her as the pastor read from the book of James.

Photo posted by Hannah Mayes at

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

That was exactly what my friend did.  She confessed her sins to me.  It was hard, she probably didn’t want to, but she did.  And you know what, she may not be fully “healed” yet from the desire of the sin, but she is in the healing process.  I didn’t have the power to offer her “heavenly” forgiveness, but I could pray for her and direct her to the one who could.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

I’ve seen, in my own life and in the lives of those around me, how important confession is.  Sin (whether “big” or “small”) can take a hold of us so swiftly and easily when we allow it to.  We like to keep it hidden, to keep it in the darkness, so that we can hold on to it, to keep on doing it.  Or maybe we don’t want really want to continue in it, but we are so ashamed, that we hide it.  And when we hide it, it’s much harder to overcome it.   Through confession, we are bringing the sin from the darkness into the light.  We are calling it what it is, sin.  We are allowing others to support us, and opening our hearts to God, to allow Him to work in us.  And healing begins.

My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (James 5: 19, 20)

Thank you, dear friend, for trusting me with your secret.  Thank you for being so brave.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your healing.  I continue to pray for you.

And I pray for me and you, dear readers, that if we have secret sin in our lives, that we would be brave like my friend and able to confess it both to a friend, and to God.  To the friend for support, encouragement, and accountability.  To God for forgiveness and healing.

Pressing on Together,


Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Dark side

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a pretty lousy singer.  It’s not so much that the tone of my voice is bad, rather, I can’t carry a tune, seriously, cannot.  But I love to sing, and sing loudly.  So be glad that you are reading this wherever you are instead of sitting here with me.  Because right now I’m singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Dark Side”, and you’re better off not hearing me!  (I can picture Simon Cowel’s criticism of me now…)  She sings it much better than I do, click here to hear her.

Have you heard the song yet?  Have you really listened to the words?  I love them because they are so honest, so real, and so true for probably all of us.

There’s a place that I know
It’s not pretty there 
And few have ever gone
If I show it to you now
Will it make you run away?
Or will you stay even if it hurts
Even if I try to push you out
Will you return?
And remind me who I really am
Please remind me who I really am
Everybody’s got a dark side
Do you love me?
Can you love mine?
Nobody’s a picture perfect
But we’re worth it
You know that we’re worth it.
Will you love me?
Even with my dark side?

I was with a friend today and we were talking about how messed up we all are.  We think everyone else has it all together, but no, we are all messes.  We all have some type of dark side: flaws, imperfections, and garbage that we’d rather not let other’s see.  Because like Kelly asks in the song, will they still love us if they see the dark side?

Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times.”  So the answer should be that yes, they will still love us if they see the dark side.  Whether that dark side is depression, anger, bitterness, shame, hurt, pride.  Whether it’s a failing marriage, addiction, finances in ruins, lies, porn…  No matter what we’ve said or done, a friend should love us.  They don’t have to like the junk, but they should love us.

But that doesn’t always happen.  We’ve been hurt.  We’ve been rejected.  We’ve been ridiculed.  We’ve been judged.  We’ve been gossiped about.  And if we haven’t, then we’ve seen it happen to others.  And so we hide our dark side, and pretend that everything is hunky dory.  Or we try super hard to overcome that dark side.  To become the person we want everyone to think we are.  Sometimes we succeed.  But, I think we always worry that one day everyone will find out the truth, that we are a fraud.

My prayer for you dear reader, is that you do have someone that you can show your dark side to: your spouse, your parent, your pastor, a mentor, a friend, me.  Someone who knows your fears, your failures, your insecurities and still loves you, and still embraces you, and walks besides you and says, “You’re worth it, I’m not leaving even if it hurts. I love you, even with your dark side.”  And I pray that you and I will be that for others as well.

But if you don’t right now, or if you’ve been hurt so much that you are scared to trust someone, take heart!  Psalm 27:10 says, “Even if my father and mother abandon me,     the Lord will hold me close.”  The same King David that sang that, also sang in Psalm 139, “O Lord, you have examined my heart, and know everything about me.  You know when I sit down or stand up.  You know my thoughts even when I’m far away… You know everything I do.   You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord… How precious are your thoughts about me O God.  They cannot be numbered.”  This is the same King David who had an affair, got the woman pregnant, and had her husband murdered.  King David knew God saw all that, and still loved him and would hold him close.

As I’ve been openly examining my imperfections through this blog, and pressing on to improve myself… to make my dark side a little brighter, I’m constantly being reminded of one thing.  God loves me now, today, just as I am.  He will not love me more tomorrow when I weigh less, and am a better wife, and have a cleaner house, and yell at my kids less, and read my Bible more.  God loves me with my dark side.  He doesn’t love me less than Billy Graham or more than a “crackhead” on the street.  I cannot earn God’s love, it’s already completely there.

Though I can’t earn his love, I can choose how to respond to it.  Do I press in to it so close that I can hear God’s heartbeat, or do I let the world drown it out?  Do I allow his forgiveness through Christ to wash over me and my dark side, or do I keep scrubbing away on my own trying to make myself good enough?

“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)  I have that verse taped to my computer.  When I read it, I ask myself, “Do you believe it?”  Just now I read it and edited it as I read:

The Lord my God is with me, even with my dark side.
He is mighty to save me from my dark side.
He will take great delight in me, even with my dark side.
He will quiet me with his love amidst my dark side.
He will rejoice over me with singing which is much better than my singing!

Do I believe that?  Do you?  Lord, help us to believe that you are with us even with our dark sides.  Help us to trust you, not ourselves, to save us from our dark sides.  Thank you God that you delight in us even with our dark sides.  Help us to believe that.  Thank you for quieting us with your love amidst our dark sides.  Help us to rest in it.  Thank you for rejoicing over us with singing.  I’ll be honest, I can’t even get a picture in my head of what that looks like or sounds like, but I’ll bet it’s awesome!

Pressing on with you, in God’s love, not to earn God’s love, even with our dark sides,




Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Staying quiet…

For those of you who read my posts, you may have noticed that I’ve been relatively quiet this summer.  My posts have been few and far between.  Some have asked me about it, so I thought I’d tell you what’s up.

Every time I turn on the news or the Internet, I’m bombarded with topics that mean a lot to me: Penn State and Child Abuse, Chick-fil-A and homosexual marriage, presidential elections and the general state of our union.  I sit down to write my blog and these are all that I’m thinking about, and I want to join in the arguments and let my voice be heard.  So I start typing, some times finish a post, and have Jeff read it to ask if it’s OK to publish.  Usually he’ll say something like, “It’s good and well written, but why don’t you wait until tomorrow and see if you still want to publish it.”

Then tomorrow comes, and I don’t really want to.  Other times, I’ll sit down to write something not related to any of those topics but nothing really comes because they are what I’ve been thinking about.  So then I think, “Well, that’s what I should write about.”  But I usually end up walking away from the computer frustrated.

I think about why I started the blog in the first place: to encourage others as I’m pressing on, despite my imperfections, to be a better mother, wife, friend, Christian, housekeeper, and to be more healthy.  Ultimately, in doing so, I hope to point you, my readers, to Christ.

So this summer, I’ve been learning about being quiet.  I’m learning that my voice is not always needed.  I’m learning that if the things I have to say don’t ultimately point others to Christ, then they are not worth saying.  And let me tell you, that is a hard lesson to learn, because I have a lot I want to say!

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)

“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.  Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.  Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.  Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?  My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” (James 3:3-12)

Oh, God, help me to know when to speak and when to be quiet.  When I am to speak, help my words be filled with your grace, love, and truth.  Forgive me for times when my words were unnecessary, hurtful, and arrogant.

Pressing on together,