Category Archives: Devotional

111715 + 111815: Syrian Refugee Crisis

I rarely ask this on my blog, but this one is important:

Do not start reading this blog post unless you intend on reading all of it. 

Continue, if you will read this in it’s entirety, otherwise, close this window and go back to scrolling Facebook.

Not quite three weeks ago, my Facebook news feed was full of #CollinsForChrist and people standing up for what I believed was Christ. Now.. Maybe it was just a bunch of lights that they stood up for.

Every time I hear the word REFUGEE, this is the image I see.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.47.05 PM


That image, right there.

That small, tiny, little boy, laying in the sand. Washed up on shore, with his little shoes both still on and his little wet clothes stuck to his still, lifeless body. That little body is what I see when I hear the word REFUGEE.

This little boy, Aylan Kurdi, was a refugee. He was 3 when his parents and his brother (5 years old) left on a boat, attempting to make it to Greece. The Father made it. He lost his wife, who was 32, and his two sons on his trek away from his homeland of Syria.

His situation was so unbearable, so fearful, that his parents thought, “It is better for us to risk death at sea, than to stay where we are and risk public amputation, caning, whipping, beheading, death…”

I see his body and then I look at Judah and….I have to hold back my tears. I’m usually unsuccessful.

Everyone has an opinion about this crisis and the way it may or may not impact the United States.

The refugee crisis is in full blown media mode at this point. But here’s the thing – the Syrians started fleeing and became refugees back in 2011. They aren’t suddenly deciding to become refugees. They’ve been running from ISIS for years.

And the ISIS terrorist that we are all afraid of sneaking into the United States with them? Believe me, they’d have an easier time sneaking in the US in ways not related to refugee asylum. Trust me.

Did you know…

…There are over 750,000 refugees already in the United States, that have trickled in since 9/11?

…none of which have ever been arrested on terrorism charges?

…the most violent extremists in the U.S. are actually natural-born citizens?

Yeah. That’s FACT.

Did you know that the pictures/news posts you’ve been spreading around about the 10,000 new refugees coming to the US isn’t a picture of what will actually happen?

The refugees will not be walking off of a boat in a group of 10,000.

It takes 18-24 months before they are allowed to enter the US. It’s a long and drawn out process, a process which most terrorist probably don’t care to go through. More than likely, the terrorist will sneak into the country like the rest of the illegals do. Also, if you don’t believe ISIS is already in the United States, then get your head out of the sand.

The refugees come in small groups- groups of their family. Usually, one family at a time. Here recently, New Orleans saw some come in. Somehow the news got everyone believing it was a flood of folks. Actually it was 2 families, with a third coming in soon.

Ok, before you toss me out…

I’m NOT saying we need to accept any and every refugee.

I’m NOT saying we need to trust everyone who applies to be vetted to the United States.

I’m NOT saying lets get stupid with our rules and start opening the flood gates.

I’m NOT saying let our guard down.


I believe we need to be strict and careful.

I believe we need to be cautious and aware.

I believe we need to do what Christ has called us to do, as a Nation built on his word.

What does Jesus tell us?

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me inI needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

Matthew 25:35-36

That is JESUS’s words. Following Jesus isn’t easy.

He calls us to do things that require actual faith in action.

Jesus never called us to a calm and mundane life, and if you think that, then you need to dust off your Bible and start reading it again.

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Matthew 10:34

Jesus isn’t calling us to be stupid and hasty about letting the refugees find refuge here, but I do believe that he is calling us to help them in any way that we can.

Jesus is love.

He loved that little boy whose body washed up in the sand.

We need to help these people in whatever method or manner we are capable of.

What I’ve been seeing is this:

“We will stand together united to keep some lights up on display, but when it comes to standing up for people who are afraid and lost and praying for a place they can flee to, away from public executions, away from public beheadings, away from having a body left out on display for days afterwards so people know that ISIS is serious… When it comes to offering these people a place to live and live freely, we say NO. You are not allowed to enjoy in our FREEDOM. Because we are scared of what could happen. God isn’t big enough to protect us. We want to do it ourselves.”

That is what I disagree with. Fear of the what if, and that fear not allowing us to help thousands of people who are just like ourselves, but born on the other side of the world.

If you don’t think any refugees should be brought into the US, that’s fine. It is what it is. But PRAY for them. And don’t just say, “Oh, I’ll pray for them, but they need to stay where they are…” That’s not love. That is NOT love. And that sort of prayer doesn’t help.

I pray that you consider your freedoms and the grace that God has given you, and the mercy he bestowed by allowing you to be born into this great free Nation. Look into what ISIS is doing to these people, and you’ll see much more of the freedoms that we have.

If nothing else, realize how blessed you are.

Thank you for sticking with me til the end of this post.

I’m going to go hold my Judah now.

110515: Gratefulness

It’s so funny how God works with stuff, right? Ever been going about your life, then you see an uncanny pattern and you’re like, “I see what you did there, God.”

That happened for me. After we left the zoo, Lucy had her usual list of I-wish-I’s. “I wish I got to ride that carousel. I wish I had got a hot dog.” Etc, etc. Every parent has heard some of these.

It’s our greedy flesh nature in action. 

And today, my bible verse was this:

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Isn’t that awesome. I told Lucy that it’s better to look at the things we did get to do, and be thankful for those, instead of just what we missed out on. Craig Groeschel said this, “Gratitude turns whatever we have, into enough.” That’s so good. 

So on our ride home, we took turns giving “I’m thankful I got to-” statements. And it blessed my heart. 

I even told her that there are a lot of time I want things I can’t have, but it’s good to be grateful for the things we do have. 

I was encouraged to tell someone what I’m thankful for. 

I’m grateful for my husband who is an awesome provider, noticer of when I need a break, mechanic, and fixer-upper. (He does the fixing-upping, he doesn’t need fixing-upping.)

Im grateful for my children, who are happy, healthy, balanced, and so very themselves all the time. 

I’m grateful for my Church which continually surprises me and keeps me saying, “Man! God is good!”

I’m grateful for my ability to stay at home and work different types of jobs instead of a traditional 8-5 job where I would miss so much of my life. 

I’m grateful I get to homeschool my children. The thought of leaving them with other people all day, and just trust that they will educate them to their needs scares me to death. I know, trained professionals and all… But I’m one of those professionals. And I love the fact I can do this for my children. 

There are so many more things I’m grateful for; it’s a list I can’t put in one blog post or it would weigh down the Internet. My new Keurig, our rabbits, my Jeep, goodness, my Jeep again because I really love it so, breezy evenings on my front porch, my recently remodeled bedside tables, clean sheets, my favorite pair of jeans, the feeling when my head hits my pillow after a long day. I could go on. 

Let’s try and have a grateful mentality today. Gratitude turns whatever we have into enough. Let’s live like we have enough. Because we do. We are so blessed!

110315: #CollinsForChrist

Last night, I chose to participate in a show of support for my local park. I came to a City Counsel board meeting, listened to people from my community and elsewhere get up and speak, and had a great time standing in agreeance with most everyone there. It feels good to be a part of the majority. It really does. 

Here’s my hope for all of this:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Or if you prefer:

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭KJV‬‬

I want my heart to be guarded. 
I want my mind to be constantly in Christ. 

If the decorations stay up- Praise God. 

If the decorations come down- Praise God. 
My faith isn’t in a statue. My faith isn’t in a lighted angel. 

My faith is in Jesus. 

Do I like the park? All lit up in its fanciness and sparling at night with Christmas music playing and hot chocolate in my mug, and hearing my children giggle from the backseat when they see the Baby in the manger?

Yes. I do. 

And I’d love for it to stay, because it’s become a tradition for our family to ride through and see the lights. It’s fun. It’s wholesome in a time where very little is wholesome. 

My kids even love all the Santas. Train Santa, sleigh Santa, the little cartwheel Santa. 

And I love that we have been free to display this. 

I even love that we have some decorations that stay up year round. I can take my children there and teach them about Jesus walking on the water, feeding the five thousand, about His love for us that drove Him to sacrifice his own life. 

But would I rather keep all of that, and lose one soul that is in Collins that is lost? 

Would I say, “If you hate Christmas, then just leave! We don’t want you here! Why are you here anyway?”

Never in a million years. 

A lost soul is so much more valuable than any set of Christmas lights. It’s so much more valuable than any decoration. It is a soul, and it is one of God’s children, whether they know it or believe it. 

And as Christians who love these displays, it’s on us to show love to people who are different than us.

This whole thing isn’t about getting mad at atheist. It’s about praying for them. 

It’s not about telling people who don’t like it, not to look at it. It’s about asking them how their day went, and then if it’s okay to pray for the situations that are bothering them. 

This “attack” isn’t an attack at all. 

It’s an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for us to show Christs’ love in a bigger way. 

I used to joke about Collins being on the map. “Collins and it’s 2 red lights. You know, the one at Sonic and the one on Main Street. There’s 2 more but they just flash.” (A lot of you know which red lights I’m referring to! It’s been a while since it was just those 4.)

We are bigger now, with a few more red lights, and this story has put us on the Internet map, as well. 

I hope and pray, that when others look and see what we are standing up for, they don’t see Christmas lights or a big Jesus statue. 

I hope they see Christians. 

People who were once so very broken, who probably still slip up from time to time, but who love Jesus with a passion and have a heart to help and serve others just like Jesus did. 

I hope they see Christians, getting on their knees and praying for their officials, praying for their government. 

I hope they see Christians, showing love to one another, for nothing in return. 

Friends, neighbors, Collins residents… Let’s show Jesus the way He’s best shown off: by the way He makes us more into Himself. By our lives. Our lives should shine brighter than any of the lights in that park- with love, forgiveness, honor and peace. 

Collins is an amazing little town, and I’m so honored to call it home. 


062115: Marvel + NEW BLOG DESIGN!

Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch?
All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference?
Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?
What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.
Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.
Don’t worry about missing out.
You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. 
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Matthew 6:27-34 MSG
Lucy and I were on our way to church Sunday, and she looked down and saw a weed, a small yellow flower, growing beside the door at church.
She gasped and ran over and picked it immediately and showed it to me and said something to the effect of, “Oh, it’s so beautiful! Look at this flower!”
I knew it was a weed. I see them all the time. I pass by them. I cut them with a lawn mower. But she was taken away by it’s beauty. And when I looked at the little yellow flower, I saw that it was indeed, a pretty little flower.
God spoke softly to me and asked me when I stopped gasping at the things he shows me. Lucy saw it, and ran to it. When did I stop being so overwhelmed with God and the things he has done for me? I know what sacrifice He made, I’ve known about it my whole life. I mean, I’ve been a Christian for twenty-two years now. But I don’t marvel anymore.
I don’t stand in awe anymore.
I don’t get my breath taken away anymore.
Not as often as I used to, anyway. And I have to change that. We have to change that.
Our God is amazing and marvelous. He is gasp-worthy. He is so far above, and we are so far below that we can’t even really comprehend how gasp-worthy He is!
Marvel with me today at our God, today as Creator, at how absolutely amazing He is…
No two people are alike. Every person’s fingerprint is different. That means there are 7.125 billion different sets of human fingerprints in the world today. There are over 2 million sets of monkey fingerprints in the world today. Monkeys have unique individual prints like humans.
Earth weighs about (Not kidding… it’s this many zeros…) 13,170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds. And the only way we think we know that is because God gave us brains and math and gravity to figure it out. Obviously there isn’t a scale that goes up that high.
Your body runs off of blood. You have about 2.5 trillion red blood cells at any given moment in your body. To maintain this, your body makes about 2 million red blood cells every second.
When we touch something, the message sent to our brain through neurons travels at about 124mph. You had no idea you could think that fast did you?
Your aorta (or the main artery in your body) is about the size of a garden hose. Your capillaries? It takes 10 of them to equal the diameter of a human hair!
And as amazing and complex as our body is, a catipillar has more muscles in it’s body than we do!
Our God is crazy amazing. Marvel at Him today.

060915: AMAZING

So, I got up yesterday and I did my devotional. I really like the one I’m doing, and I’m not going to even lie – it had been a while since I had done it. Sunday kicked my butt back into gear and I really took time to stop and focus and pray, more than just a passing, “Morning God! Gotta get my day going!” The message was on “blessings” that God gives us – humility from losing a job, self control from a low bank account, etc.


So I prayed to God yesterday and I basically said, “I’m not going to worry about job stuff anymore. I know it will work out. I’m not going to stress out about it – I know you are our supplier.”

Then my heart was at peace and I went about my day.


I worked for the morning and came home. Lucy did her school work (she’s in summer school at Kirkley Academy) and then Wes suggested we go to the creek.

The water was cold and felt wonderful.




We had a nice time and even attempted to help pull a guy out of a stuck spot – but… he was way too stuck. You could barely see his tires. We leave, come home and I’m getting the kids all washed and clean and Wes goes to the mailbox.

A few of the things we ordered were in the mail, a little plug for a toy that I was given, some other stuff Wes had ordered for his bike/car/something. And then a bright yellow envelope from our mortgage company.

I opened it with a sunken heart thinking, “great, what do they want?” Did our online payment not go through, what is it now? You’re always kicked when you’re down right?


And it was a check. It was a cushion for when my job ends. It was an overpayment that we had made to escrow that they were crediting back to us.

I mean, God’s timing is so amazing!


It made my day, remembering that God fully shows his power when we are obedient. Don’t hold back. Jump in and follow him and He will make it great.