Thanks-Living: The Real Wonder Women

Thanks-Living: The Real Wonder Women

Confession: I absolutely loved this past summer’s blockbuster – Wonder Woman.

It thrilled audiences and captured my heart. My favorite scene is when Diana (aka Wonder Woman), out of the compassion of her heart for a captured people, steps into her identity and onto the battlefield. Taking all the enemy fire, she leans into the opposition to allow her team to overthrow the unwanted militia.

One particular image stands out in this scene. Diana crouching down behind her shield. Face grimacing. Muscles flexing.  Bullets pounding. Yet despite the opposition, she is resolving to push through and press on for the people.

As much as I love this movie, wonder women in real life are way more inspiring. Women whose lives testify that though “we are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

Wonder women who live out this verse with joy, gratitude and strength. Women who embody thanks-livingThey capture our attention and move us to action. They envision us. Change us. Grow us.Continue reading

Thanks-Living: Opposition our Opportunity

Thanks-Living: Opposition our Opportunity

One word – empty.

The walk to our car was long, dark and quiet. Not a word muttered between my husband and me. Deep sadness dug its trench in the pit of our souls. Our hearts were overwhelmed with this unfamiliar, unforeseen experience. Our hands – empty.

Three times before, it had been a right of passage. Whisked by a wheel chair out of our safe domain to take our new adventure home. Decked out with balloons, adorned with flowers of celebration. My lap, typically, weighed down by an oversized car-seat filled with bundles of blankets and a tiny cherub.

But this time all my hands held was my husband’s. No entourage. No balloons. No baby.

We were discharged from the hospital and had to leave our precious baby girl behind. Of course, it was for her best. She couldn’t breathe on her own. But my empty womb and empty hands threw my heart into crisis. And this opposition seemed more than this mama could overcome.Continue reading

What Is Your Invitation?

What Is Your Invitation?

I was already disappointed as I nestled into a dimly lit corner of my local coffee shop. My soul was desperate to be refreshed by God’s presence, but already the moment was not living up to my expectation.Continue reading

The Key to Willing our Want

The Key to Willing our Want

Where do we turn when our “want to” doesn’t match “His will”? I am not going to beat around the bush because we have a full and forging scene to behold.

Matthew 26

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 He went away a second time and prayed, My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Not sure if you caught that but 3 times Jesus prayed that God would accomplish His will some other way than his sacrifice. Please don’t hear me minimize the heart, life, and sacrifice of Christ. But to some small degree, this might mimic  our “want to” not matching “his will”.

So what was going thru his mind and how did he resolve to follow the will of the Father despite his flesh wanting something else?Continue reading

4 Ways to Win in our Wilderness

4 Ways to Win in our Wilderness

As I leaned back on the couch in my counselor’s office, I posed a question. The question originated out of the circumstances of the last four days. Personally, my heart bottomed out when a extremely high water bill disclosed we had some leaks. But that paled in comparison, to the overwhelmingly scary situations some dear friends found themselves in.

My question to him was, “When circumstances for me or loved ones are overwhelming, how can I lean into their pain but learn not to turn to food for an escape afterward.”

Though he seemed a bit uneasy learning I was a pastor’s wife, in his wise counsel he kept coming back to this word “trust”.

As he was talking I was thinking he was really meaning “faith” but just not willing to say it. However, as I was processing the conversation with the Lord, I sensed his Spirit say, “No, I mean trust.”

And like a lightbulb switching on, I realized his answer connected to our question for today.

How do we win in our wilderness?Continue reading