Keep Going

Keep Going

Squeal with delight

I thought my life was about to be over.

The excursion was my idea. After all, I’d craved adventure most of my life. But I had no idea the predicament I’d gotten myself into. My goal to see the sunset from the top of the massive granite mountain (Enchanted Rock, in the middle of the Texas Hill Country) seemed impossible after only a third of the way up.

My heart raced and fear took hold when I realized the difficulty of the climb. I reasoned with myself, uncertainty setting in. I don’t know how I’m going to get down.

My 16-year-old son ran and jumped from one boulder to another, loving the climb in this rock paradise. He heard the distress in my voice and stopped long enough to encourage me to keep going. Holding out his hand, he gave me a pull up a time or two.

I continued taking one step after another, over one rock pass to the next until only a smooth rock slope lay ahead. Looking up was the only option. Looking down caused queasiness, so I forced my eyes straight ahead and up.

Alone with God

The task seemed insurmountable. As soon as I hiked far enough to see the horizon, I sat down, frozen in place. My son hiked up the last incline and out of my view. I couldn’t know if he was safe because I remained rooted in my spot.

I watched the sunset but mostly prayed because I doubted my ability to survive the hike down. You probably think I’m being dramatic. My son did. But my fear was as tangible as the rock dome in front of me.

The sun dropped below the horizon. I sat completely alone with my God as I watched the sun’s decline throw pinks and purples against the sky. I half-heartedly thanked Him for the view.

Eventually, I found the courage to stand. (I certainly didn’t want to walk down in the dark.) Taking one step, then another, I weaved my way down inch by inch.

When my feet hit level ground, I looked back at the mountain with a sense of awe and accomplishment. As sure as the shadows deepened from the setting sun, I knew I couldn’t have made it on my own.

Lessons learned

God taught me some things from that experience.

  • Keep going. Do you have an insurmountable task in your life? As my son shouted to me from a distance, I speak those same words to you. “You can do it. Keep going.”
  • God walks or runs and even climbs with you. Take His hand and let Him lead you one step at a time. One rock at a time.
  • Be sure to look forward to the reward at the end and enjoy the adventure. Looking back, I wish I had enjoyed more moments at the top instead of worrying about the journey ahead of me.

This experience reminds me of other challenges in my life. Can I apply these lessons learned to other areas? Absolutely.

I find it interesting and reassuring that God uses distressing situations to inspire us to work on other areas in our lives.

Often, I convince myself I can’t accomplish something because of a lack of discipline. I question God’s calling to this ministry. Will I trust Him and put in the effort to climb to the place He wants me to be? Can I release my worry to Him and enjoy the journey? Do my children see my joy throughout the day, or do they only hear my correction?

You might have similar questions or challenges, or a mountain to conquer. These words speak to us all. Keep going, take God with you and enjoy the adventure.

I thought my life was about over that day. But I found God had so much more in mind.


Don’t know Jesus? You can.

It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

Find out more here.

Do You Need a Sign?

Do You Need a Sign?

The signs are all around us. Signs of celebration. Signs telling us to be merry and have cheer. Signs leading us to the “can’t live without it” gift.

Tis the season of joy, right?

I have already heard people talking about the busyness and craziness of the holiday shopping season. It’s hard not to. I feel the pressure to do more, seek the perfect gift and get things checked off my Christmas to-do list.

But when it’s all said and done, it’s not the gift that we remember. In fact, I can’t name one thing I got for Christmas last year (except for an ornament my son painted of the cover of my book . . . which I recently hung on the tree).

Moments of joy

However, I find joy in the people and the moments we share.

I remember laughing around the table on Christmas day. I love being with friends and family at our annual Christmas party. I cherish Christmas traditions, especially Christmas Eve with my cousins and their families.

I even still chuckle about a huge inflatable Santa I bought for our boys that first Christmas after my husband passed away . . . and all the comments of support that post brought about. (We finally “retired” Santa this year.)

I believe that when we put all the “stuff” and activity aside, when we still our hearts and seek Christ, joy awaits us.

In fact, the Lord pursues us. He wants us to know Him and find delight in Him.

“God is trying to call us back to that for which He created us – to worship Him and enjoy Him forever.” A. W. Tozer

King Hezekiah of the Old Testament did this. Scripture even compares him to King David in doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He sought the Lord and turned Judah back to God. (2 Kings 18:3, 2 Chronicles 31:20-21)

After he re-installed the sacrificial system and festivals like the Passover, scripture tells us both Israel and Judah celebrated as one. Their hearts were in it and there was great joy in Jerusalem.

Why? Because they were seeking God.

Ultimate joy

I spoke with my friend Teresa shortly before her father’s funeral this week. He was a man who sought the Lord. Her eyes lit up as she told me about her daddy’s last breath on earth. At that moment, a look of pure joy flashed across his face. I can only imagine how it must have impacted her.

Thinking about it still leaves me in awe. Mere words cannot come close to capturing what she witnessed.

One day those who know Jesus will also experience unspeakable joy when we see Him face to face. But I’m thankful we can also experience joy right now.

So when you hear holiday greetings, when you see signs reminding you of the Christmas season, let those prompt you — not to do more — but to seek Him more.

No greater joy

Hezekiah sought the Lord. Shepherds and wise men searched for Jesus. Teresa’s dad trusted in Jesus. Let us also seek Him and find joy this Christmas season.

He is no longer a baby in a manger.

No longer the messiah on a cross.

He is our risen Savior, our Redeemer and our King.

There is no greater joy than that.


“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”  Matthew 2:2 (ESV)



Don’t know Jesus? You can.

It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

Find out more here.

Recognizing the Protection of God

Recognizing the Protection of God

Have you ever felt God’s protection? I did just last week.

Upon taking my car to a repair shop to get an estimate for recent accident damage, the alternator belt came off as I arrived. Not only that, but the brakes went out as a result.

Thinking about my predicament, a key question came to mind. What if my brakes had gone out while I was driving? What would I have done? How would I have navigated that? 

My next thought was one of awe and gratitude. God protected me from harm that day and used that situation to encourage and remind me of His presence and protection.

Daniel’s story also tells of God’s presence and protection. The Jewish prophet served King Darius of Babylon and his successors while also remaining true to the God of Israel.

After being maliciously accused of breaking the king’s law, Daniel was sentenced to spend the night in a den of lions.

The result of faithfulness

At daybreak, the king “went in haste” to the den and cried out in anguish.

“O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Daniel said to the king, “O King, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king. I have done no harm.” Daniel 6: 20-22 (NIV)

Here are a few results of Daniel’s faithfulness to the Lord.

  • King Darius wanted to see God save Daniel. Verse 16 tells us that he declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” He had watched Daniel and wanted to see what Daniel’s God would do.
  • Daniel had been a captured young man at the first siege of Jerusalem. Yet he shows us how we can remain true to our faith and honor God in all of our circumstances.
  • Daniel sets the example of how to live a holy life. He prayed and gave thanks to his God regardless of the environment around him. The king even recognized him as a man who served his God continually.
  • The event changed King Darius. Verse 25 tells us that he wrote to all the peoples, nations and languages telling them to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.

God or coincidence?

Often, we think of situations like mine as coincidences. What if they’re not?

Think about a time when you were spared from harm. Maybe you didn’t recognize it at the time.  But what if it was God’s deliverance?

Let’s try to live in a way that we are always on the lookout for the protection and presence and power of God.

I know why birds sing

I know why birds sing

God is an artist.

And he must love music.

  • He created the birds to sing and praise him
  • His angels sing praises to Him.
  • People worship and sing praises to Him.

I know, I know — scientists say birds sing to sound an alert of a predator, or to snag a mate. But God wanted them to sing for His enjoyment — and ours.

We create things for enjoyment too.

  • A favorite dish or entre’
  • A painting or other work of art
  • A song played
  • A poem written

Creativity. Some people have an overabundance of it. Matthew did. Parker is following in his footsteps with that talent. Garrett’s creativity comes out in his relationships. Connor’s is released through his favorite sport.

Me? I’m still trying to figure that out.

Recognize the wonders of the earth

How can someone recognize the wonders of the earth, yet not believe in the God who created them? We can find God’s beauty no matter where we are. Author Sue Monk Kidd writes it excellently. “Something deep in all of us longs for God’s beauty, and we can find it no matter where we are.”

God’s creation is beautiful. Creation’s beauty points us to Him.

So, where God is Almighty and worthy of our reverence and worship, He also delights in creativity — the tiny bird’s song, the things that are awe-inspiring, things that are beautiful, things that give us pause or make us laugh.


For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20 (NIV)

When Words are Few

When Words are Few

What do you do when a friend is suffering?

Job 2:2 tells us what Job’s three friends did.

When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him, they began to weep aloud, and they ‘tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him because they saw how great his suffering was.

You may remember that later they had plenty to say, but at this time, they got it right.

Although my time of intense suffering is long past, anniversaries and special occasions still get to me. I voiced the upcoming anniversary of my husband’s death to the ladies in my Bible Study group last week. During the prayer, my friend beside me leaned over and put her arm around me. No words were needed.

Actions speak louder

Actions like these mean the most. Many times, words are just not needed. It’s the simple act of service, expression of love, and comforting touch that speaks volumes. Maybe a simple hug is your gift to others. My sister gives great hugs. When she hugs you, no doubt about it, you know she cares.

Do you know someone suffering this week? Chances are, we all do. Pain and suffering seem to be the constant in our world today. Has God moved you to do something? If so, do it.

So, when words are few and you don’t know how to respond, let your actions speak what words cannot say.

Adventure calls

Adventure calls

Summertime ushers in thoughts of trips and adventures. Our family has already attended a weekend festival, an out-of-town wedding, three camps, a high school reunion, plus taken trips to the beach and to see a friend. All within one month.

I’ve always craved adventure. Some of my earliest memories consist of climbing trees and swinging from the rafters of dad’s shop. I once got my leg stuck on the prong of a chain link fence. My neighbor found me hanging upside down and freed me from my predicament.

I also talked my younger sister into jumping from the roof of our house to a picnic table in the yard. I loved the thrill of it. Her, not so much. She sprained her ankle on that jump. Who knew she had weak ankles!

Adventure comes in different forms

On some days, adventure means getting out of bed and dressing for the day. Or it could simply be a moment of getting out of our comfort zone.

After my husband Matthew died, I tried to make life as normal as possible for our family, even though the family unit didn’t come close to resembling what we once had. I decided the boys and I needed an adventure and planned our first ski trip over Christmas break.

We traveled to New Mexico, with a stop in Oklahoma City to visit family.

It was an adventure alright, beginning with sleet as we left Oklahoma. Then we drove through white-out conditions in Texas, ending up in a small town in New Mexico with one gas station – the only resemblance of snacks in the area.

I spent half the first ski day in a medical tent, experiencing altitude sickness for the first time. The second day wasn’t much better. We got separated and my youngest cried he never wanted to ski again.

But the boys learned to ski and snowboard and we made it home in one piece. It has since become an annual tradition.

Some of our greatest adventures are unplanned

I think David had a sense of adventure too. As a young boy, he tackled a lion and bear. He didn’t know he was going to fight a giant one day, but when the time came, David forged ahead with confidence. He also became an accomplished musician and wrote many songs.

When he brought the Ark of the Lord back home, David sang and danced in the streets. He knew how to live a full life, not letting doubt and fear steal his peace and joy.

Let go and live

Do you need an adventure today? What would your adventure look like? Is it a drive in the countryside or going on a boat ride? Taking your grandchild for a sno-cone or settling down with a good book? Maybe it’s slowing down to watch the sunset or taking that long-anticipated trip.

Can you let go of the stress and strain of your day to live the life you’ve always wanted? There will likely be bumps along the way, but don’t lose heart. The thrill of the journey is worth it in the end.