He’s Alive!

He’s Alive!

Tired from a long day’s work I found myself standing in front of a vending machine looking intently at a pack of ROLOS. I was reminded of that time as a little girl at Easter when I received a bag of ROLOS with a simple note attached… The stone was rolled away! 

“But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.” Mark 16:4 NIV

I haven’t thought about the stone, the cross, the pain, Jesus in a very long time. For so long Easter has been about new dresses, egg hunts, baskets, bunnies, many things but not Jesus. 

As a little girl, I heard stories about Jesus. He healed the blind. (Matthew 11:5) He made the lame walk. (Matthew 11:5) He turned water into wine. (John 2:1-11) He fed the 5000. (John 6:5-14) He walked on water. (John 6:16-24) Honestly though, I stopped believing  as a young adult. Those stories just became fairytales to me. I haven’t thought about Jesus, talked to Jesus, felt Jesus in a very long time. I walked away. That choice, while mine, was wrong. I pressed A9 on the vending machine and knelt down to reach for the ROLOS But when I stood…

I was standing in a crowd of people. Many were shouting “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”  (John 19:6) Anger raging in their voices. Others were pleading for His life as tears fell down their faces. 

Jesus?!?! Why is He being treated this way? STOP! I yelled. No one heard me. No one could see me. It’s Jesus!!!! IT’S JESUS!!!! STOP!!! I continued to yell. They didnt stop. 

Jesus was taken up toward a place called the Skull. (Luke 23:33) There He would be crucified.

He had a cross on His back (John 19:17) A crown of thorns woven onto his head. (John 19:2)  He was dripping sweat and blood. The closer He walked I saw long deep red stripes

ripped into his back where He had been flogged with a lead tip whip. (John 19:1) 

My stomach turned inside out. My heart felt like it would beat out of my chest. I wanted to turn away, not watch, pretend it wasn’t happening. But it was happening, It was real. It was not just a dream. 

The soldiers began to mock Him. Their Laughter echoed in my ears. “Hail King of the jews” (John 19:3)  they shouted with disbelief ringing from their voices. I could see His pain…The agony was written on His face. It was dripping off His body. But He didn’t complain. NOT ONCE! 

He continued walking up the road weighed down by the cross. He knew what He was doing. 

Then, I see His mother and other women at a distance. Wailing and pleading for HIs life. (Luke 23:27) Falling down their cheeks, streams of tears, their eyes filled with agonizing fear. 

Jesus told the Disciples to keep His mom near. (John 19:27) He cared so deeply for her. 

As the soldiers continued to mock, beat Him and spit in His face, Jesus only replied with a prayer… “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) How could He show them so much undeserved love and so much undeserved grace? I heard a voice in my spirit. This grace is not just for them. YOU!!! He is doing this for you!! I stood quiet letting those words penetrate my heart. 

Jesus bravely laid on that cross! They began to hammer long nails into his feet and wrist. 

They lifted Him into the air between two men who were also being crucified. One mocked him while the other asked for forgiveness. Jesus replied…

“…Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke: 23:43) 

Jesus began to struggle to breathe. His death was drawing near.  He asked for a drink and on a sponge he was given sour wine.  Too bitter to drink, He said “It is finished” As He lowered His head taking His final breath.  (John 19:28-30) 

Hanging on the cross, darkness covered the earth (Mark 15:33) Once more, the soldiers pierced His side with a spear and watched as the Blood left His body. 

I knew though! I knew the ending! I knew He was not dead forever. I remember shouting 

JESUS IS ALIVE in Sunday school as a little girl. It won’t be long! I wanted His mother to hear.

I wanted everyone to hear. It won’t be long. Joy is near. 

His body was wrapped in linen and placed in the tomb. (John 19:40) For three days the ones who loved Him grieved his brutal death. The ones who hated Him celebrated in the streets. 

Three days later though His tomb was empty (Luke 24:3)  The stone was rolled away. 

(Luke 24: 2) He had risen. (Luke 24:6) He is alive. Joy and hope now fill the hearts of those who believe because JESUS IS ALIVE!!!!! 

When my eyes opened I knew my life had to change. More than candy. More than bunnies. 

More than egg hunts, baskets and new dresses; Easter is about the cross, the crown, the whip 

the pain, the stone, JESUS! Easter is about Jesus and HE IS ALIVE!!

This is a creative writing piece. The crucifiction, burial and resurrection are very real. This is a writing based on a girl who finds herself at the crucifiction of Jesus and how this moment brought her back to Him. Below are all the passages where you can find  the  story of the crucifiction, burial and Resurrection of Jesus. 

Matthew 27:2-44

Mark 15:16-32

Luke 23:26-43

John 19:16-27

The Floor!

Recently on a Preteen trip many of us camped out on the floor of hotel rooms so others could have the beds. It was not comfortable at all. Add forgetting your pillow and it’s even worse. However at some point in the night I pulled an extra folded up blanket under my head and it was like heaven on earth. All of a sudden the floor was not so bad. Honestly I didn’t feel any less rested than usual. However, this could have been Jesus and the large amount of caffeine I consumed.
Before finding a comfortable position on the floor I tossed and turned thinking about my nice big comfy bed at home. I was laying in the floor wishing I was in my own bed even though I didn’t want to leave the kids or the SuperStart event. Still I imagined my bed filled with lots of blankets, pillows and comfort. I’ve never really been thankful for my bed. Never thought about how nice it is to have a clean and safe place to lay my head at night. Not until I found myself laying on a cold, hard and uncomfortable hotel room floor.
How often do we have to find ourselves on the floor before we recognize the goodness of God?

This was not the case for Job at all. Job was blessed with so much and even after he lost it all he still remained true to God. When faced with so much trial and opposition as well as sickness Job continued to believe that God is good regardless of the circumstances of life.
(Story found in the book of Job)

“Look, God is greater than we can understand.
His years cannot be counted.” Job 36:26

The night I spent sleeping on a cold hard floor in a hotel room did not make God any less good. Just the same, the difficult life circumstances that you might be facing doesn’t change Gods goodness either. God is simply good even while on the floor!

While pregnant with Jay I found myself feeling down a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to be growing Jay inside of me but the sadness was heavy. I assumed it would pass after delivery. I was wrong. As soon as Jay was born, physically I felt amazing but emotionally and mentally I continued to struggle. Postpartum depression hit hard but I didn’t realize that was happening. It wasn’t until his pediatrician contacted my OBGYN out of concern for me that I was told I was suffering from postpartum depression. Everything suddenly made sense. I had the most challenging time connecting with Jay. A struggle I never experienced with Ellie. I could tell He was struggling too. He never seemed comfortable in my arms. It was beyond difficult to connect with Jay when he didn’t want to be touched. I felt like I was doing everything wrong when all I wanted was to wrap Jay in my arms and sing him to sleep.

Remembering those first few months with Jay and how hard it was that He really wanted nothing to do with me opens my eyes to how Jesus must feel when we choose other things and people over spending time with Him. 

In Luke 10:38-42 we read the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus comes to visit and Martha is anxiously running around preparing dinner for her guest. Meanwhile Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus listening intently to His every word. Martha becomes angry and scolds Jesus because He was not the least bit concerned that she was making dinner alone while Mary was sitting at His feet.It seems as though Martha was hoping Jesus would set Mary straight by telling her to go help her sister but instead…

Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42, NIV)

There is nothing and no one more important than Jesus and the time we spend with Him.  Mary understood this. 

Now! Jay is always running up to me for a hug or pat on the back. He loves to sit on my lap and wants me to lay with him as he falls to sleep each night. He will now lay on my chest and it’s doing wonders for my mama soul. I don’t have to beg him to do any of this because all on his own he simply wants to be close to me.  It’s the best feeling in the world when for so long I felt we would never bond. 

Jesus doesn’t want to beg us to be close to Him. He will not force us to spend time with Him. We have free will. However, Jesus longs to be near to us. He longs to hear us call out to Him and He longs for each of us to sit at His feet intently listening to His every word. Just as Mary did!

His kind of kind!

I love this shirt I bought from Five Below! Do I have any Five Below friends out there? It’s a great place to go broke!

They have a great selection of shirts for just 5 dollars. I’m a big believer in kindness. That’s why this shirt caught my eye. Kindness goes along way and you can never go wrong with being kind. Like the shirt says “Kindness comes back around!” This has been true in my life but I don’t believe it’s the reason we should have for being kind. Jesus is the reason we have for showing kindness.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

Demonstrating kindness is tough. It’s hard to be kind when others aren’t so kind to you. It’s hard to show empathy to someone who is struggling in a sin that does not make sense to you. It’s difficult to be forgiving when someone has hurt you on a deep level. However, Ephesians 4:31-32 teaches us to be kind in every situation not because every situation or person deserves it but because Jesus has shown that same empathy, forgiveness and patience with you. Jesus has been so kind to me too.

He had compassion for me when I was walking through an eating disorder.

He had patience with me when I continued to cut myself.

He forgave me when I tried to find my worth in anything other then Him.

He responded with calmness when I let my anger take over.

I’m not perfect. I have flaws. I struggle just like anyone else and He has always been faithful through his forgiveness, empathy, patience and love. I want to be His style of kind.

Take the chocolate!

Take the Chocolate !!!

I was at the pediatrician a few weeks ago with Jay and I started to feel light headed and panicky. I ran out the door earlier that morning so that we would not be late for his appointment. Unfortunately, I did not eat breakfast. I could feel my sugar dropping.

The nurse walked in and could immediately tell something was off and offered me chocolate to help. I of course turned it down because taking food still gives me a feeling of guilt and shame. Then with such confidence, while still typing on the keyboard she laid the chocolate down and said…

“You know, there’s no shame in admitting you need to eat!!!”

She was right!! There is nothing wrong with me for being hungry.

Not long ago I would have left the chocolate there even if it meant passing out from low blood sugar. This time… I took the chocolate! It was the perfect fix till I could get to something more healthy and sustainable.

There are some of us who need a reminder that it’s ok to eat. Your not abnormal for being hungry. You’re not bad for needing food.

Remember, there is no shame in admitting you need to eat.

Take the chocolate.

“Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.” Ecclesiastes 9:7


“THAT” Girl!

Do you remember the candy grams passed out at valentines in highschool?  You could purchase a candy gram for a dollar and have it delivered to a friend during class. It was a way to raise money for a specific organization or purpose.  I never got one that I recall but I also never gave one.  

Ellie recently came home with a family assignment. Together we get to make a valentines box of her choice. We are definitely going all out.  I’m excited on so many levels. Ellie and I searched Pinterest and she found a box she is thrilled to create. I’ll keep it a secret till completion. As we were creating her box and thinking of creative details to add I explained to her that she gets to make a valentine card for each friend in her class. I asked her to think of something that makes each kid in her class special. Some of her responses were…

 L is funny. He makes me laugh. 

V had a fun Halloween party. 

J gives me hugs. 

She will write something special on each class member’s valentine card to give to them at the Valentines party. 

I love that her school celebrates Valentines in this way. I love that they encourage every child to bring a valentine for every friend.  Not only is it good relationship building as a family but it’s a great opportunity to show love to every kid in the class. We want to encourage Ellie to see every kid the way Jesus views them. I don’t know about you but not everyone is my biggest fan. Not everyone likes me and that is ok with me.  To be honest there are individuals that don’t smell like peaches and cream to me either but every person has a quality that makes them special.  We can show kindness to everyone. We SHOULD show kindness to everyone. We should look for the good in each person. Yes! We should also show love to those who are not kind toward us. 

“But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! Matthew 5:44 

I simply believe that the world would be a sweeter place if we just walked around handing out valentines to EVERYONE simply because every single person in this world matters to God. 

If I could go back to high school I would be “THAT” girl. The one who walks the halls handing everyone she passes a candy gram, no matter who they are or how much they like or dislike me.  I wouldn’t waste the day feeling sorry for myself because no one addressed a candy gram to me. Deep down we are all the same. The world is just like high school. You have your jocks, preps, misfits, band nerds, smart kids and so on but deep down we all are in need of Jesus and if we dig a little deeper we secretly all want a candy gram too. I can’t go back to high school but I can be “THAT” girl now. 

If during the month of February I hand you a lollipop with a corny note attached just smile and take it. Humor me! I’m just doing now what I should have done back then… showing EVERYONE that they are loved by Him.  

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

Merry Christmas

Its Christmas Eve and I can’t help but be reminded of all the wonderful individuals who blessed my family when I was a kid. We didn’t have much and definitely not extra for Christmas gifts most years. Still, my favorite Christmas memory is a Christmas Eve when I was 8 or 9. Well… honestly I don’t know how old I was. It was definitely elementary school age. It was Christmas Eve and there were no gifts under the tree. I remember feeling disappointed and at the same time guilty that I was disappointed because I knew Christmas is about Jesus. In the middle of my mixed emotions we hear a knock on the door. Not expecting anyone we opened the door to find several people including kids my age standing at the door with huge smiles. They had big bags filled with toys swung over their shoulders and boxes of food. We welcomed them in and after talking for a few minutes they held our hands and prayed with us. I hope they know how their prayers have followed me. It felt like such a huge circle of people who chose to show our family the love of Jesus. I can still remember the peace their prayers brought me. I remember my smile was huge and I was so thankful for them.
For years I’ve always desired to give back in the same way I was given to as a child. Early on I was challenged to find a way to pay it forward. To me that has always looked like giving to those who have less then me or are struggling financially. While giving in that way will always be a desire of mine, over the past few years I have desired to give in a different way. I have had the opportunity to give to those who might be doing well financially but emotionally they need a God kiss. You know? The kind of feeling you get when you go through a drive though and your having an awful day and for some reason the nice person in front of you covered your food? That’s a God kiss. Each of us at some time in life need a kiss from God. An unexpected gift that helps a person see that God is always there in the mist of their troubles. Someone needs a plate of goodies as they fight an illness. Another needs someone to hold their hand as they wait on the outcome of their loved ones surgery. Some need a financial blessing and I pray our family will continue to bless others in that way. However, even the financially stable need a reminder that God is still alive. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to bless another because I’m only looking for a similar situation as my
upbringing. We get to be a God kiss to someone. It might be a family struggling financially or it might be a family struggling emotionally. The question is, are we willing to allow God to use us as a reminder that He is alive and He has a blessing (God Kiss) for each of us.

Not a number

November is always the month I start reflecting on the past year and what I want to continue working on the following year. I set it up in sections. Health, work, spiritual, family and so on. This is the first year, in a long time that when it comes to health I didn’t write down….

Lose (number) pounds.

I can’t remember a thanksgiving where the number on the scale or my image in the mirror wasn’t at the top of my to fix list. It was unhealthy.

This year I am thankful that my mindset is healthier, my body is stronger and although my eyes at times play tricks on me, I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14) by a God who loves me so much.

Thanksgiving 2021

I recently asked one of our preschoolers what she was thankful for and without skipping a beat she responded…

I’m thankful that God is always on our side.   

Such truth and wisdom from someone so young. This is proof that age has nothing to do with spiritual maturity. Her response resonated with me. 

Growing up, life was tough. There were many scary moments and uncertainty in life. However, even in the difficult moments growing up God was always on my side. I think back to where I was and where I am now and I can’t deny that God had always been with me, leading me. He has always provided. He has always answered. He has always shown up. Maybe not always in the way I expected but He has always come through. He has always been on my side. 

A question I hear often is, 

 if God is really on my side then why did He let such and such happen? 

1 John 1:5 reads,  “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.” 

While evil does exist and bad things do happen, God did not create it. In fact, After creating the entire world God looked around and said it was good. 

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31

However, God did create each of us with the ability to choose right from wrong. Unfortunately, the choices of others and sometimes ourselves can bring pain into our lives. Our world is filled with evil. God is not the reason for the pain In your life but He is the answer. Run to Him not from Him. Even in this world full of sorrow and pain, Jesus is on our side walking us through it.

It’s comforting to know that while evil does exist, God can take what is meant for evil and use it for good. 

A four year old little girl spoke so much truth and it really teaches us to trust Jesus more. He is always on our side. No matter what you are facing right now. No matter the uncertainty in life. No matter how many scary moments come at you. No matter how many times you have messed up. If you continue to walk with God He will continue to lead you. This year let’s not forget that God is ALWAYS on our side.

“The Lord is on my side, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” Psalms 118:6-7

Kids in ministry

Ministry with kids is challenging. I want Ellie and Jay to grow up loving ministry and not feeling pressured or overwhelmed by it. Our kids have been born into ministry and I don’t know if they will ever know another life. Ellie makes me proud everyday. Don’t get me wrong we had a screaming match this morning but overall she is a fantastic kid. We have chosen to send Ellie to public school. When it comes to ministry this is tough. We have big events at the church that take our time and energy. It also takes time and energy from our kids. We love it and we know that we have been called to it so we always give 💯 percent, but there are weeks that are so crazy busy that sending your kid to school feels mean. Ellie handles it like a trooper. I try to get her to stay home but she insists on going. Ellie went to school this past week everyday. After picking her up we headed back to the church to prepare for the weekend fall festival. I didn’t even give her anything to do because she was tired. However, she wanted to help. She cut things out for preschool and helped set up games and even ran around and played a little. There would be a mess on the floor or pieces to a game in the wrong place and I would turn around to find that she had cleaned up the mess or put the pieces in the right spot. She never complained about the extra long days and woke up with a smile ready for school the following day. Saturday night was our fall festival. We told her she could run around on her own while we led games and passed out candy and helped with the event. Ellie decided all on her own to help with one of the games. For 45 mins she stood behind the Gone Fishing Game and put candy on the hooks thrown over. She did it with a smile. She eventually ran off with a friend to play and apparently tried to get them to come to our church full time. (They are pastors at another church) 😂 Ellie wasn’t just born into ministry. Ministry was not just a card she chose from a deck. God has truly shaped her heart to love ministry and to be a servant for Him even when she is tired. God has a plan for her life. I believe He is already using her in that plan. I am so thankful for Ellie. I’m so proud of her too. Mostly I’m thankful that God has given her to us to watch her grow and raise her to love Him and to serve others. ❤️

I guess the point of this is to remind myself and you that some seasons are tough and some seasons are long but everything we do for God is worth it. Also, if you are a fellow parent who is raising kids in full time ministry know that your kids were chosen by God to be part of a family in ministry. He is preparing them now for His calling on their lives and future family. He didn’t make a mistake when He placed your children in your family.