Friday, November 7

Jeremiah 17:7- Trusting AND Hoping in the LORD

Blessed is in the man who trusts in the LORD, And who hope is the LORD.
-Jeremiah 17:7

This morning I was reflecting on Jeremiah 17:7. In particular, I was wondering why God took the time to say that the person who "trusted" AND "hoped" in the LORD would be blessed? God is a perfect speaker after all, but to write that the person who hopes and trusts in the LORD will be blessed seemed redundant to me. 

So what's the deal? Was God being redundant? Just giving a two-edged whammy for the same idea?


There is, in fact, a subtle distinction between trusting and hoping in the LORD, and thankfully GOD whispered that distinction to my not-so-astute heart.  

So what'd He say?

Here's what I got:

"To “trust” is to depend on something. To “hope” in something is to have the steadfast, quiet assurance and confidence that it will deliver on your behalf. You can trust in a bridge, but never have the hope of crossing it. Likewise, you can trust in a mighty man’s sword, but never have the hope of him yielding it in your behalf. But to be able to trust and hope in Someone is to be able to say, “My confidence is both in the LORD’s capability, AND in His willingness to USE that capability to defend me when it is necessary.” That is the difference between hope and trust, and the two sides of the sword of deliverance of Your MIGHTY King."

Thank You, Jesus for being One in whom I can BOTH trust and hope.


"I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior."
Habakkuk 3:18

Monday, August 4

A Down Day & Habbakuk

Today I am having a down day.
For me, days like these are once in a blue moon, but what they lack in frequency I suspect they make up for in intensity, because despite the abundance of blessings in this girl’s poured-out, good-to-the-last-drop life, I can’t see anything but lack on these days.
Lack of love.
Lack of laughter.
Lack of meaning.
Lack of purpose.
Lack of applesauce in the applesauce container, because it somehow ended up in the cottage cheese container…..
And the thing is, no amount of cat posters or inspirational mumbo-jumbo can change my heart on these days. Sure, tried truisms can shift my mental status, but they can’t squelch my sorrow.  My mind may buy into the “It’s not so bad” mentality, but my heart will have none of it. So, instead of wooing my woes away with a cute cat meme, I will acknowledge my bottomed-out-blues and add my name to Habbakuk’s, because in all my lack, He is still my Lord, and if I can be glad in nothing else, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
“Though the fig tree does not bud
   and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
   and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
   and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
   I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
   he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
   he enables me to tread on the heights.”

- Habbakuk 3:17-19

Friday, July 11


I hate change.

I have always rejoiced in routine. Even as a kid.

My favorite sweatshirt growing up was always the one I had on: a grungy 25-cent garage-sale find. Come Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I wore it. In fact, the only time I didn't wear it was laundry day, and even then the only way my well-hygiened mother got it was to rip it out of my hands.

And food? I loved nothing more than Fruity Pebbles. Did you know Fruity Pebbles can constitute a whole dietary plan? I did! Breakfast, lunch, dinner? Guess what? They're always delicious!!

So yes, I love routine. Comfort, joy, certainty- all things I find in routine.

So what is my arch enemy?

Well, that would be change.

So you see, there's this prayer I love, that's kind of all about things never changing.

         Proverbs 30:7-9.
"One thing I ask of You, LORD,
Do not refuse me before I die...
Give me neither poverty nor riches,
But give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise I may have too much and disown You
And say, 'Who is the LORD?'
Or I may become poor and steal
And so dishonor the name of my God."

Basically, the heart of this prayer is: "Don't ever change my circumstances, God. Give me hum-drum, same-old, day-to-day living that never changes, because that's all I want to handle. Not the temptations of poverty or riches, just give me the satisfaction of temptation-free living without change, whether it's a Rolls Royce or Romen Noodles. Either way, as long as it never changes, we'll be good."

But reviewing this favorite prayer of mine this morning I realized, I have been literally praying myself out of a blessing. And that blessing is quite surprising to a person like me, because that blessing is change.

Oh, how GOD grows us.....

So here's the deal for those of you who feel off Train-Obvious like myself. The man who prays to have unchanged circumstances (cough, cough, i.e. me) never grows spiritually. Why? Because he never figures out how to honor God as both a rich person and a poor person.

And that's really important for a follower of Jesus. To learn how to praise God- not just from the cushy insides of a Mercedes or from the broken, glass-filled bottom of an abandoned warehouse but from both places.'s the million dollar question: How will this change my life????

Well, as of this morning I have resigned myself to no longer pray, "LORD, give me neither poverty nor riches."  Instead, I plan to pray, "LORD, give me both poverty and riches, so that in whatever state I am in, constant or changing, I will learn to honor Your Name.. Then, having had all, and having had nothing, I will always know how to count You, Jesus, as my only portion and prize no matter what my circumstances."

And though this prayer I plan to pray scares me, I will pray it without fear, fully confident in the One who enables me. This is the One through whom "I can do all things" and bear all changes: "Christ who gives me strength" (Phil 4:13).

Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the courage to embrace change. Help me not to shirk away from it, but to lean into it with the full assurance of Your guiding hand. Use change, I pray, in your lavishly merciful hand to make me grow in unexpected ways. I trust that as You do this gently, I will learn to experience greater dependence on You, and in this I will find joy because You are joy itself. 
I love You. 

Tuesday, June 3

Tonight the dog ate my dinner.

Yes, the dog ate the dinner that I sat down to eat at 11:37 p.m. after a long, hard day. That same dinner that took over an hour to prepare, and yet only minutes to destroy.

You see, in the moment that grace-upon-a-couch was extended to my fine furry friend, grace fell in the form of a tantalizing pile of mozzarella cheese atop a pizza with an all-too absent master.

The crime? Frustrating.
The offense? Forgivable.

For you see in the moment that I caught my red-handed pup with marinara sauce in his beard, grace washed over me anew as I realized (still while in the midst of screaming), that I too have had my face heads-down in many pizzas that also were not my own. How humbling it is to have the moral fortitude of one's dog...

So, thank you Jesus, I say, for grace which sweetly pardons us both.

And yet while Chester and I are both forgiven, one difference shall remain....: only one of us will ever be eating on the couch again.

This one's for you, Chester. For you, for me, and for anyone else who needs some grace.

Psalm 32
Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them

The culprit. So sweet. Soooooo naughty.

Friday, March 28

Chester, and the least expected of ways...

Everybody has heard of "that" dog.

Yes, you know the one I'm talking about: the dog who chews on everything, breaks well-known (and well-taught rules), and generally drives its owner bezerk.

Well, that dog???

That's my dog.

Don't get me wrong: Chester is not a bad dog. Sure, he chews with the tenacity of a Rottweiler and runs like Lassie on steroids in the sweet moments he escapes his leash, but he also has moments of greatness. Just last week my heart beamed proud as Chester stayed in a long-down with the most tempting of treats literally at the tip of his little black nose, and never once did he even lick it.

Brilliant? Yes. But Chester and I have worked long and hard to come to this point of most-of-the-time obedience. Yes, it's been a long road, but in the words of our vet "Chester has grown up into a nice young man," despite his wild-child beginnings.

But even "nice young men" have their days, don't they?????

Enter flashback: Yesterday, Chester and I were cuddling on the couch circa our normal routine. Wrapped in a blanket, eating lunch, Chester nuzzled into my side.

Picture? Dog owner bliss.

So, there I was, immensely enjoying this cozy companion of mine, until I look over at him, and what should my cozy companion be doing???

Peeing.  All over the couch.

Now this is the point when some people, some better-than-me-saints, would've reacted with holy harmony and patience, but not me. Nope. At the top of my lungs I screamed, "JESUS, HE'S PEEING ALL OVER THE COUCH!" And don't you know in my unholiest of moments, all of Heaven had to be dying of laugher?  Because, you see, only 48 hours before, God had encouraged me to take all of my Chester-woes to Him, and I prayed with all tenacity that He would help me do just that.

So, it may have been at the top of my lungs, and it may have even involved the word "pee" more than once, but God did answer my prayer for help, even if it was in the least expected of ways...

Father, thank you for loving me on even my craziest days with the craziest of dogs. I thank you for Chester, my good gift from You, and ask that You would help me love him in a way that honors You.

I love you, Jesus.