Beautiful Hearted Women of the Bible

My Mother-Daughter Devotional launches October 5th!

I’m really excited to do some questions/prayers in the coming weeks about these beautiful hearted women to help us focus more on the Lord and draw our hearts close to Jesus.

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Martha is one of my favorite women in the Bible. When her brother died, do you know what she did?

She didn’t hide her pain from Jesus, she didn’t pretend to have it all together, she didn’t reject Jesus. Mary shared her honest thoughts with him.

Standing right there in front of Jesus, the King of the world, God incarnate, she opened her heart of confusion and pain to him.

John 11 tells us, “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.’

Not only did she share her pain and confusion with Jesus, but she still believed. What a courageous, faithful woman. She still believed. After all that heartache and confusion. She made a choice to believe. Isn’t that beautiful?

“Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’

Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?

’Martha, grieving her brother, answered him. ‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.’

Wow. She believed in the midst of her heartache.

While Jesus said he would heal Lazarus, she hadn’t seen it yet, and she still was grieving her brother, with Jesus having wept right by her side.

Yet, she chose to believe. Beautiful.

Let it be said of us, that in our pain, heartache, confusion, we say, ‘Yes, Jesus. We believe.”

Just like Martha did.

After 8 months, my dad is home!!!!!!

After 8.5 months of being in the hospital from covid, my dad is finally home!!!!!!!!! 

Being told several times from doctors over the past year that he had hours to live, and then him pulling through, makes all of this such a miracle. We have all been through so much, especially my dad, but He. Is. Home. 

To be able to facetime my dad this morning At. Their. House. with mom sitting next to him Was. Amazing. I asked him how it felt to be sitting right next to mom at home and he said, “Wonderful.”

Yesterday morning before my dad came home, his iPhone stopped working. So, once he arrived home, after all this time, and they opened the ambulance doors, the first thing he said after my brother Brett said, “Welcome home, Dad!”, was, “Brett, did you get my iPhone working?” while throwing his hands up in the air. Haha! That’s so my dad with getting right to the point. 

The second he got out of the ambulance and saw his waterfall, the trees, and his flowers, a breeze washed over his face after 8 months of being inside the hospital. He closed his eyes, took it all in, and said, “Incredible.” The simple things.

As they wheeled him by his roses and his waterfall, in typical dad fashion, he wanted to make sure the transporters saw the waterfall and liked it. (: 

Getting to come into his home, his family room, by his fireplace, with so many windows and trees, and the beauty of just being home with mom. What a gift. We’re so grateful to the Lord for bringing him home.

Please be praying for this big transition to go well, for the rest of the nurse slots to get filled (especially night nurses!), and for my dad to make a lot of progress quickly. Thank you to all of you who have been praying, continue to pray, and are walking with us. It means the world. 

This has been a tough road, and we know there are a lot of things that will be overwhelming and great and tough now too, but to have him home. There’s nothing like it. There’s no place like home.

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While our Kids are Right in Front of Us

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I’m so excited to celebrate bringing my son, Bates, home from the NICU 10 years ago today after being there for 5 months. It feels like a lifetime ago and it feels like yesterday.

He was born at 2 lbs. 13 oz. and had a life-threatening intestinal infection at 6 pounds. I am so thankful that he got through it and for how he is thriving.

For how he smiles so often.

For the way he is my biggest cheerleader and encourager, and everyone else’s.

For the way, every single night, he prays with me for my dad to recover and rubs my back the whole time with a heart of love for him and the Lord. 

For when he sat on the bus in first grade for the field trip with a boy who couldn’t speak or communicate, and when the teacher told him he could sit with his friends on the bus ride back, Bates said, “He is my friend. I like sitting with him.” 

For the way he is kind and giving, like when he was 5 and heard some kids in Tanzania didn’t have a playground and he asked me if he could take his tools there to build them one. Or when he gave all the money he had earned to LifeSong for Orphans, or all the times when there has been one last dessert and he always offers it to his sisters.

For the tears, and the arguments, and when he’s impatient, and when he’s rude to his sisters, when I have to constantly remind him to brush his teeth, and pick up his tornado of a room, or to quit bossing his sisters around and telling them what to do (I think he might be a teacher or coach one day!), or when he puts the cheese back in the pantry, or leaves his dirty socks all throughout the house.

Gosh, I sure love him. In the bad, in the good, in it all. And, I sure am thankful that he loves me in my bad, in my good, in it all. 

And, that is just how the Lord loves us – He loves us so much through our mess, through our good, and through it all. 

“Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39

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A Love Like This

I thought I knew the love my dad and mom had for each other.

He saw her across the way, her long brown hair, her hazel eyes, her beautiful smile.

He knew he had to talk to her.So he did. After four dates, he proposed. She thought he was crazy to do it so quickly.

He proposed a second time. Again, she thought he was crazy.

After two months, my mom said to her roommate, “If Tom asks me to marry him again, I’m saying, ‘Yes.’”

He asked, and she said, “Yes!” 48 years later, they love each other like I’ve never seen.

I thought I knew the love they had for each other. But, lately I’ve seen it so much more clearly.

My dad was an avid runner, until he got covid in December. He’s been in the hospital since fighting for his life, and is one of the strongest men I know. Our hope and prayer is that he can come home soon to recover and thrive.

I’ve seen their love by how my mom has stood by his side through it all. Through. It. All.

I’ve seen their love by how my mom holds his hand day in and day out. Again and again and again.

Eight months being in the hospital, being told time and time again that he wouldn’t make it but then rebounding each time, my mom being by his side, every fiber in her being believing that he will get better.

That. Is. Love.

I thought I knew the love they had for each other.

But, I have seen the beauty of their love flourish even beyond the heights where it’s been.

Sometimes the world can tell us love looks like pleasure, the momentary, the self-satisfaction. But, it doesn’t.

Love looks like selflessness, like holding your loved ones hands through the deepest tears you’ve ever cried, through the highest heights you’ve ever experienced, through the lowest lows you’ve ever seen.

True love is commitment, devotion, loyalty.

Love is of God.

And when we love like God loves, we experience a connection that is beyond this world.

A connection my dad and mom have.

I thought I knew the love they had for each other.

But, it’s far more than I ever could have imagined.

Love like this.

May we love those right beside us with love like this.

With this kind of selfless, committed love – a love like God Himself has given us.

Words to Replace Worry with Peace for Our Kids (& us)

Last night, my daughter said, “Mommy, life is scary.” Ugh. It broke my heart to hear her say that. 

She is so full of joy and life, but with all going on in the world, it makes sense to feel like that sometimes. I know we all feel like that sometimes. So much to carry for a ten year old. 

BUT,

these are the moments that are so important to speak life into our kids and to remind them why we don’t need to worry. 

I told her that I know life can be scary sometimes, but remember that the Lord tells us, “Do not fear, for I am with you.” Again and again, the Lord tells us not to fear. 

We have Nothing to fear when we know the Lord. 

I told her that we are not promised tomorrow, but that we are promised life forever with Jesus. So, when we face scary things in the world, we can remember that we do not need to be afraid because God is bigger than it all, He is with us, and we will be with Him forever. 

I know we all have times of feeling afraid, but when we saturate our hearts and minds with the Word of God, the peace of God will outweigh it all.

She woke up this morning with that sweet smile of hers and after reading her devotional, said, “Mommy I feel so much better and refreshed.” 

As our kids face fears and moments of overwhelm, let’s remind them (and us) again and again of this truth: 

The Lord says, “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will surely help you.” Isaiah 41:10

“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:31 

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My Mother-Daughter Devotional about women in the Bible can be pre-ordered from Amazon, Barnes & NobleChristianBook.comand Books-A-Million!