Love and London

My friend Kate is a full-on Anglophile and it is one of the things I adore about her. She loves London, loves English history, and the more I’ve gotten to know her heart through the years, the more I’ve thought she truly belongs in another time.

This week, thanks to God’s blessing and my wonderful boss, I was able to do my first show in London. It’s been a dream of mine to visit Europe, so to get paid to be here is pretty amazing.

And being here – I understand Kate a little better. She completely fits here.

There is kindness and beauty here. Magic. Stepping off the plane and onto the train I felt transported into another era where life was more thoughtful and graceful.

I absolutely love it.

The diversity of people, the courtesy they demonstrate, the amalgamation of different languages and cultures, the history all around us (directly under my hotel window is a portion of the wall built by the romans in the 2nd century) – every part of it makes me slow down and look around in awe.

Being here this week has been a crazy, sweet, unexpected gift from the Lord. The only way it would be better is if my wonderful family and friends were here with me.

Yesterday afternoon I stood on the line that separates east from west at Greenwich observatory, and I was moved by the kindness of the Lord. I walked down the hill from the observatory praying and thanking the Lord for this chance, asking Him to lead us to raise our kids with a global consciousness and a heart for ministry all over the world.

Being here has demonstrated and strengthened my call to “go into all the world.” I am so grateful for the opportunity and for the reminder. London, I have been blessed by you.

I hope to be back soon and often.

Bloodlines & Adoption

This video speaks to my heart and I adore it. In it, John Piper tells the story of his life growing up in the south and his adoption of his daughter, Talitha. Please watch it – it will touch your heart.

I was, because of God’s grace, raised in a home with a mom who got the importance and beauty of diversity, and taught it, and lived it. I pray my heart for people honors her as I try to live this out. And I am grateful I get to fight for the same cause in my life. I ask Him to allow us to be loving parents of children from all races and nations. Because it’s important and it’s right and it’s beautiful and it’s God honoring.

Here’s my favorite quote:

“God did a remarkable work in us. He taught me this. He said, “Look. If you act consistently with your convictions about interracial marriage and the nobility and beauty of diversity, this choice will commit you to this issue until you are dead. And that swung it for me. Love for my wife, love for this little girl, and love for this cause. The cause of Christ-exalting racial harmony and racial diversity, because if I lock in to my family, the issue, this beautiful little woman created in the image of God and say “You are mine” then I won’t ever be able to run away from this, and I wanted to draw that line in the sand…

When I look at her I’m going to see a human being created in the very image of God, and then secondly, down the line, I’m going to see a particular kind of skin or hair. That’s huge. The Bible brings the image of God to bear on this issue and it is massively important. The second way the Bible brings it to bear is it talks about there being one Father of us all.  All the nations came from one Father according to Acts 17, which means we’re all related. You can’t look with disgust or dismay or dishonoring on another human being as if they’re not in the same family. They’re in your family. You try to demean them, you demean your family.

It is fundamentally a cross issue, a blood issue, a gospel issue that is at play here and what is so amazing is how the Gospel, by faith alone, having our sins forgiven, triumphs over these sins that militate against racial harmony and racial diversity.”

Love it.

Giving Grace

As most of you know, my oldest daughter’s name is Grace. It completely fits her, actually. She has singlehandedly taught me more about grace than anything I’ve ever experienced.

The other day we were listening to Christmas music and she heard the line “He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove, the glories of His righteousness and wonders of his love…”

She asked me, quietly, “Mommy, why is my name in this song?”

Suddenly I had to try to explain the concept of grace to a 4 year-old. All the Sunday school answers I’ve ever learned ran through my head – unmerited favor (no), sanctification because of His righteousness, not ours (no).  All true but far too complicated.

I said “Gracie – this is talking about how God rules the world with truth and absolute love.” I think that was a pretty accurate answer – I was grateful the Lord gave it to me.

God rules the world with truth and absolute love.

There has been some serious tension and strife in my extended family this past year. Like the historic kind that divides families and tears each other apart until people miss funerals because of it. It’s bad. It’s been really difficult to experience and hurtful on all sides.

And it’s human nature in strife like this to believe the ABSOLUTE worst about the other person, while believing the best of ourselves. We’ve seen that on all sides of this argument. We stop communicating, stop working towards peace. We start presenting the best version of our side to the people on “our team” while demonizing the other side. Suddenly small differences that were before simply topics to avoid become vast valleys that separate and divide us because grace is gone.

But God rules the world with truth and absolute love.

What I think the Holy Spirit is teaching me is that to live out Christ in me, I have to live in truth and grace. I must love.

When I am offended? Realize as a Believer in Christ who is told to forgive, I don’t have the right to live offended. I must love.

When I am hurt? Realize I am constantly, unknowingly, hurting those around me. I must love.

When I am tempted to demonize? Realize I am but a miserable selfish sinner saved by grace who doesn’t deserve an ounce of the grace given to me by Christ. I must love.

My sweet Grace is aptly named, and again she teaches me about grace just by her very existence.

He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes (ME, a sinner saved by grace) prove, the glories of His righteousness and wonders of his love…

We can show the world, and our families, the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love when we choose to live as Christ.

The best way I can show my daughter the precious concept that her name represents is to prove His righteousness and his wonderful love as I give grace in my relationships with others. God help me. That’s so hard sometimes!

God forgive me for my part in the disunity in our family. Help me to be better – to prove your glory, righteousness, and love better than I have this year. Please work and move and heal and restore. We need You.

A Very Merry Christmas.

I am seriously loving life right now. I think it’s a combination of learning to live in gratitude, this amazing season celebrating Christ, seeing miracles in the lives of faithful friends around me, success in a tough semester of school for me and Jess, fun holiday traditions with my family, my wonderful husband serving at a church where he is loved, friends who live simple faithful lives, and two sweet daughters who are living each day in wonder and delight and teaching me to live that way as they go.

Add that together – and it’s abundant life. 

I’m grateful.

Two years ago a group of people were Jesus to our family in a truly difficult time. I can’t tell you the blessing that has been this past two years – how many times my girls would wear something we got that night or play with something someone gave us, and I would remember that the Lord sees us. We are loved with an everlasting love.

I can look back today and say about the Lord my favorite verses:

“I know now that You can do all things, no plan of Yours can be thwarted… My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You.” (Job 42:2,5)

Merry Christmas friends and family. I pray that Jesus would be near and you would live each day in wonder and peace.

The Lord is Pleased with You

I am loving all of the gratitude posts on Facebook. It is beautifully complementing the things I am reading in One Thousand Gifts and it made me think of something that happened to me earlier this year.

Back in April, on a random Wednesday, I received a text message from my friend Stephanie. It simply said, “The Lord is so pleased with you, Jennifer Wells.” When I got it, tears rushed to my eyes and I sat for a moment rereading it over and over.

The Lord is so pleased with you.

I think it was probably one the most grace-filled moments of my adult life. Stephanie doesn’t know it, but she taught me a lot about the Father that day.

We so often focus on the ways we fail our precious Father, but on that day, I was reminded that I also please Him. I write often about our challenges with our children, mostly to lighten the tension of life with tiny people and relate to other moms. But even during all my moments of frustration, vulnerability, and confusion about being a mom I can tell you this, I am pleased with my girls. In fact, I am delighted by them. They captivate me. I could sit down with you for DAYS and tell you their wonderful, beautiful, unique, and most-special-in-all-the-world characteristics.

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11

Think about this: we are flawed, evil, kinda crazy people who really can’t even love unselfishly, and yet we can be pleased with and captivated by our children. How much more then can our Father, who is perfect and loves perfectly, be pleased with us?

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Jeremiah 31:3

Since getting that precious text from my friend, I will look around at my friends and family who are quietly choosing faithfulness in a world that is unfaithful, and I will think, “The Lord is pleased with you.”

  • My dad, fighting to change lifetime patterns, pursuing righteousness and right relationships with others. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My husband, faithful and righteous, leading his family and his church to worship the one true King, even after facing some seriously challenging circumstances the past few years. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My mom, adjusting boundaries and opening her heart to trust good people in relationship for the first time in her life. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My daughters, learning to obey and consider others when every instinct in their bodies wants to fight for their own way. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My brother, who fights to press into Christ and lead his family in wisdom and righteousness in a world desperate to corrupt. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My sister, who came off the mountaintop to face life in the valley, and still chooses to trust the one who met with her face-to-face, even though she may not feel Him like she once did. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My sister-in-law, who fights for the souls of children every single day with her compassionate and wise heart. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who just lost the relationship with the man she thought she would marry, and yet she trusts in the Lord who loves her. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who works in an incredibly difficult environment that breaks most people, and yet she goes in faithfully and works as unto the Lord even when it seems impossible. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who has experienced more loss this past two years than anyone should have to face, and yet they choose joy and trust in the God who is near to the brokenhearted. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who faithfully picks up and moves across the country in grace and acceptance and jumps in to friendships to be a light in the lives of others. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who trusted the Lord to leave a career and stay at home with her child(ren), despite the changes that would bring to their lifestyle. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who lives in a world of uncertainty and challenge and yet is a light to those around her as she chooses to trust in the God who holds the world in His hands. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who is waiting for the referral of the child(ren) who will change her life and her home forever – choosing to live out James 1:27. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who has opened her home to a broken and hurting child, who has faced trials that demonstrate just how real the enemy who seeks to destroy actually is, and who is everyday seeing victory as the Lord fights for the heart of her child. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who everyday chooses grace as she navigates challenging relationships within her family and continued financial pressure that would overwhelm most people. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who trusted the Lord with his family and his career and gave praise to the God who is faithful in good times and bad. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who is creative and brilliant and each time I am around them, I want to be more free in who Christ made me to be. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who is single years after when their plan had them married, and yet they are faithful and trusting in the Lord to work it all out for good. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who quietly pleads with the Lord to heal and fix the broken places inside, trusting that He is all-powerful and faithful to finish what He started. The Lord is pleased with you.
  • My friend who lived through the terrible thing that threatened to break her heart and spirit, and instead of becoming bitter became a person drenched in grace for the hurting. The Lord is pleased with you.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

I am grateful for the examples of hope, power, grace, peace, joy, and faith lived out by the people around me. You inspire me.

In this season of gratitude, I am grateful for you and for the Lord at work in you.

The Positive Feedback Loop Of Crazy

One of the reasons I have this little blog is to recount the hilarity and insanity that is parenting my children, so we can all commiserate on how bizarre kids are and hopefully feel slightly more normal as we go about our day raising the future leaders of the planet.

I learned in school about the difference between a positive feedback loop and a negative feedback loop in the body (you may all know this – and if so, feel free to skip to the next paragraph). A negative feedback loop is when, in response to a stimulus that throws a system out of balance, a control center triggers an opposite reaction to return the body to normalcy (think of how a thermostat regulates temperature). A positive feedback loop is when, in response to a stimulus that throws a system out of balance, a control center triggers that exact same stimulus and amplifies the original stimulus. A great example of positive feedback is in response to a wound. The body senses a breach in defenses (open wound) and sends more blood to the area in an attempt to clot and close the breach. Which, if your body can clot the wound, works and closes the wound. If the body cannot – you simply send all of your blood to the breach and wah-lah – you go home to Jesus.

Life with a four year-old is much like this, I’ve determined. At least with my four year-old. Except it’s a positive feedback loop of crazy. She reacts to a stimulus by doing something crazy, and when that doesn’t work, she pours on more and more crazy until she explodes into a flaming ball of truly insane crazy.

Each time I request something of my child, she has to choose one of three options:

Option A – Comply with the completely reasonable request made by a parent who loves her (i.e. eat a meal, or take pain medication for the surgery you just had, or brush your teeth).

Option B –  Attempt to negotiate/manipulate/delay obedience by placing some absurd condition on obedience (i.e. “Mommy I’ll take ONE bite but then I want a popsicle” (no), or “I’ll only eat if you feed me” (no), or “I’ll only take the purple medicine, and only if I have a glass of water at 65 degrees in my Ariel cup, and am holding my favorite stuffed animal Eeyo while you give it to me” (takes forever and is crazy).

Option C – Melt down in a fit and have a completely disproportional emotional response to the request (i.e. stomping foot, screaming something crazy and dramatic like “I’ll NEVER take medicine, EVER!”, hitting, running out of room, talking back in disrespect). This response always ends in discipline of some sort.

So, all day long as my four year-old is presented with normal life choices, she has three options. Sane, normal, rational people would almost always choose option A. It’s easier, it takes less time, and since she knows somewhere in that head that her mommy loves her, it’s ultimately for her good.

But anyone raising a four year-old knows that sane and rational does not apply to the four year-old brain. So, our life is a series of our strong-willed little four year-old choosing to manipulate and delay obedience (option B), while inching closer to with every denial to a total meltdown fit (option C).

A positive feedback loop of crazy. Crazy added to more crazy until finally, a crazy meltdown.

It somehow never occurs to her in the heat of the moment that the end result of Option C is ALWAYS discipline, and that option C should be avoided. Despite how bright she is, somehow this eludes her. Sometimes 15 – 20 times a day she chooses Option C and after her discipline, each and every time, we discuss that the reason she is getting in trouble is that she chose to throw a fit, and yet somehow, 30 minutes later, she chooses the fit.

This is, as you can imagine, a tiring process. I am a (slight) control freak who wants badly to be a peacemaker, so it’s a constant mental battle for me to determine where to counter the crazy, and with how much force. My instinct (to offset the control freak part of me) is to allow some negotiation and compromise, but what we have recently learned is that this is feeding her choice to constantly negotiate and hold our family hostage by inching closer to a meltdown, so I have had to begin to be more insistent on her doing things without argument the first time. Until we can “reprogram” her to obey the first time, every time, we are in a very tiring process of reestablishing our authority.

This gets harder when the four year-old is sick, tired, or has consumed too much sugar.

So as you can imagine, when we have a child who has had surgery (sick), because she had sleep apnea (which made her perpetually tired), during Halloween week (the annual celebration of all things sugary) – our positive feedback loop of crazy was, well, monumentally CRAZY.

As parents, I know we all feel slightly better when we hear that other homes are in the same crazy condition as our home. It makes us feel (almost) normal. So when my sweet friend Holly shared this little video with me this week, I sighed a sigh of relief. The positive feedback loop of crazy isn’t exclusive to the Wells home. Yay! We’re normal!

So for all the people stuck with us in the positive feedback loop of crazy, I feel your pain, I empathize, and next time I see you, I’ll buy you a well-deserved glass of wine if you are so inclined. We will survive the four year-old drama, friends, and we will be victorious!

Of course, we’ll likely face it all again when they are teenagers (only amped up a couple dozen times) but that’s another blog for another decade.

(I know for a person who is not a parent, or who only parents angelic cherubs straight from the throneroom of Jesus, this may sound ridiculous. You may be thinking “This is a four year-old, how hard can it be?” or “I would not let this child walk all over me.” My answer to that would be a kind and gentle “Bless your heart”).

One Thousand Gifts

I’ve started reading Ann Voscamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. It is admittedly not the easiest read, but I’ve found it really powerful and inspiring.

The book is about the ingratitude inherent to our sinful human nature (evident from the beginning in the story of Adam and Eve) and how choosing to give thanks in our day-to-day lives is an act of deliberate redemption. Focusing in particular on the life of Christ, Ms. Voskamp demonstrates this idea by showing how often Jesus chose gratitude, particularly in challenging times, and how this was a part of His redemption of the world. She theorized that when we acknowledge the grace all around us and give thanks, we begin to see the Lord more fully. Just as ingratitude is inherent to our sinful nature, gratitude is a defining characteristic of the redeemed life.

In the book, she began keeping a journal of things she was grateful for, and it changed her. She kept in her purse a book full of micro-moments that proved to her that God was real and loved her completely. In the end, she had listed over 1000 things she was grateful for, and her attitude and countenance had shifted in the process.

“The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live..He has penetrated the whole mystery of life: giving thanks for everything.” – Albert Schweitzer

“The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world.”

“We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our YES! to his grace. Thanksgiving is inherent to a true salvation experience; thanksgiving is necessary to live the well, whole, fullest life.”

Many women, myself included, have taken up the challenge to list our blessings. In doing this – I have found that my prayer life has definitely shifted. I have realized just how surrounded and covered I am by grace, all day everyday. My blessings will easily number in the thousands when I have finished listing them (if I ever really finish). In addition, I have begun to acknowledge, even in the challenging things in our life, that there is always a thread of grace and provision. Seeing those things with gratitude has begun to lift some of the weight of this past few years, and for that I am grateful.

I think there is definitely something to this book and this idea. I won’t share my 1000 gifts (although rest assured most of you number among them) because it is so personal to me – but I wanted to share about the book for anyone like me who needs to view life through a slightly different lens.

I’m grateful.

And I’ve realized that’s a pretty powerful thing.

(All of the quotes above come from One Thousand Gifts)

Confession of an Heiress

Someone asked me recently how the Lord speaks to me (because it really is different for different people). For me, thoughts, scriptures, things people say, and ideas are threads that one day, usually early in the morning, suddenly string together into a picture that surprises me and opens my eyes to a truth I seem to have forgotten.

This morning my mom sent me a passage of Scripture. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade— kept in Heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1Peter 1:3-5

Every morning my mom sends our family, early in the morning, a passage of Scripture that she has prayed on and meditated on for our family. It has been a huge gift from the Lord because this year has been one of considerable challenges and instability, for me in particular. So these verses, regardless of what state (or country) I am in, regardless of how early my call time is or how long my day, regardless of the demands on my time, have been a way for me to remain rooted in the Word of God.

This morning God used mom sending this passage, and this specific part of the passage to thread together a picture of what He’s been trying to say to me lately: into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. 

Get ready, because I have some serious confessing I want to do here.


Do you ever dream, like I do, of someday getting this phone call? The call that someone has left you some money, or discovered something valuable that is yours, or that somehow – miraculously – you have won a modest fortune?

You may laugh – but I have found myself daydreaming of these things. I have even driven my husband crazy on a couple of truly bad days by buying a lottery ticket. I have laughed it off as a joke, and I have even tried to ‘church-it-up’ by thinking of the good things I would do with the money (free adoptions for all my friends!).

But my confession today is that in that moment, my trust has definitely been in the wrong thing, and the Bible doesn’t laugh that off – the Bible treats it as a serious issue of the heart.

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13

I do not come from a wealthy family, and neither does Justin. There is truthfully no real hope of either of us ever getting any form of cash inheritance. And there are days where, while we’re in confession mode, that is a hopeless thought for me. It means that there is no miraculous human cure for the sins that we have committed in the past, and even present, by getting ourselves in debt.

I confess I am a worrier – mainly about money. In fact, I’d confess that most days I worry about our future expenses and wish for some miraculous human windfall that will somehow insure me against the pressures that are coming down the road. I am a planner, and so I know exactly what future pressures are coming – and I worry about how we will rise to meet those challenges. And I pray and ask the Lord for rescue from future pressures so often that to confess it is embarrassing.

Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

All the while, while asking, I don’t acknowledge what He has already done to provide. We have, despite financial challenges, not missed payments. And that is miraculous. That is manna from heaven, given each day, just as it was to the Israelites 4000 years ago (Exodus 16). God gave a group of people enough food each day, just for that day, and sustained them for 40 years.

But just like the Israelites, I grumble against the manna. I don’t want manna for each day – I want the manna for now until 2025 paid out in one lump sum, thank you very much.

And the truth is – not only is that not how God operates, that is not what is best for my soul.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34

That passage is a red-letter passage. That means Jesus said it – and I LOVE that because Jesus knows us well. He walked in our skin and hung out with us everyday for 30-something years before He preached this particular sermon. And He knew what we were like. He knew we were worrying fools and He knew the things we were worrying about were money and tomorrow. He knew that we needed to “choose each day who we will serve” and He knew there would be days we simply wouldn’t choose the right thing.

So He repeated Himself over and over and over because someday He knew I would battle my mind on this idea over and over and over until the day He takes me home.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. 1 Peter 3:15

It is a choice to set apart Christ as Lord and we can, frankly, choose many things to fill that blank. We can, in our hearts, set apart money as Lord. Or we can, in our hearts, set apart our plans as Lord. Or we can, in our hearts, set apart a relationship as Lord (or our job, or happiness, or any number of things that do not fulfill). And those small decisions to trust in things other than Christ can add up over time and before we know it, we’re like me out buying lottery tickets because we can’t imagine another way out of the mess of our life than a financial windfall.


This morning, in a scary Holiday Inn bathroom in Austin, I saw the depth of my sin, did some confessing, and my heart and perceptions were changed. I suddenly saw these threads come together into a pretty amazing picture.

In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.

Here is the TRUTH that broke through today.

My parents and Justin’s will never give us a cash inheritance (which let’s be honest, is what the world values and what I, so often, have valued (set apart as Lord)). But Justin’s parents led him to Christ at 18, mine led me to Christ in childhood, and my mom sends me Scripture every-stinking-day of my life.


I have been given, first of all by Christ, and secondly by Godly parents, all the inheritance I need. I have been given an inheritance of righteousness that can never perish, spoil, or fade.

And that inheritance means I can go to the God of the universe when our mortgage is due, and He provides it.

He is even so patient and graceful and loving to me that when I ask for a check in the total amount of our debt, and He only provides our mortgage payment, I grumble against Him and refuse to acknowledge in gratitude his provision of manna for each day (I am SO like those grumbling Israelites in Exodus 16).

What terrible sin, and yet He loves me.

And I don’t acknowledge the heritage of righteousness, the best inheritance possible, Justin and I have been given with Godly parents. A praying mom, an honorable dad, a family that has stayed together. These things are priceless and no cash inheritance could possibly compare.

That’s another terrible sin, and yet He loves me and they love me.


Today, (and this is the truth) I don’t want the big check or the magic phone call.

I want the daily manna. Because although I’m sure I’m driving the Lord a little batty by asking him for money all of the time – at least I’m talking to Him. Sometimes I wonder, if He delivered the big money phone call – if I’d leave Him behind, all-the-while doing the things I think will serve Him with that cash payment.


I am an heiress, ladies and gentleman. I have been given an inheritance that will never perish, spoil, or fade.

And today I am humbled by it. And grateful. And I feel like the wealthiest girl in all of the world.

What is on the Altar?

So it’s time for a little confession…

Our house was for sale for a year, and after no offers we decided to pull it off the market because I was entering into a time of almost constant travel, we were tired of the showings and cleanings, and we knew we couldn’t keep maintaining a perfectly clean house on top of everything else.

Inside my soul, I was fretting. I had been so sure we were supposed to sell it. Why go through that? Why endure the showings and the uncertainty for a year? How was the Lord going to pull us out of our situation if we kept the house?

I was sharing my frustration with a friend one night (a precious heart-friend) and I told her “I gave the Lord my house as a sacrifice. I put MY HOUSE on the altar. Why didn’t He take it? Wasn’t it good enough? I’m so frustrated!” She told me, kindly, “He’s God – He doesn’t need your house, He needs your heart.”

Oh so good. The truth of that stung a bit. He doesn’t need my house – my plan for our future. He is God, He is good, and His timing is always perfect. It was time to align my feelings with that idea.

When she said that, I remembered a conversation Justin and I had the night before about our situation. After we talked, I closed my eyes to pray. As I began to pray, I saw myself screaming and kicking into a void. I felt so out of control – and unheard. My friend helped me realize that my vision of myself screaming and kicking showed just how invested I was in MY plan for how the Lord would resolve this. My heart was trusting in our house – not in my perfect Savior.

In some ways – taking our house off the market was a bigger sacrifice than putting the house on the market to begin with. It was like I was putting my will, and my plan, and my view of how this would resolve on a giant altar.

And that was tough.

So here we are – it is almost 2 weeks since we took the house off the market, and our realtor called us today and wants to show the house tomorrow. Someone is flying in and wants to see the house.

Crazy, right? Here I am, in Canada, and I can’t clean it to my specifications. I can’t stain the back fence which needs staining, I can’t get my closets and mirrors sparkling, I can’t micromanage how this will turn out. I am sitting here at a desk backstage putting my plans and my will on the altar again, and trying my hardest to rest in the Lord’s perfect plan.

If He wants it sold, He will sell it.

And if He doesn’t, I’ll continue to trust Him.

Today I think I am on the altar, not my house. And although it doesn’t feel so great, I know it is for my good. It is the refining fire that will lead to my holiness.

Thank you, Lord.

The sensitive girl

I am sensitive. Not in the “cries at appropriate times” sense (because I do not), or in the “always says the right thing” way (because I am the queen of awkward pauses), but in the sense that I feel things strongly (understatement). So a word, or a tone, or even a look, can absolutely deflate me.

Justin and I talk about it all of the time (sweetest man on the planet) – and he encourages me to guard my heart more than I do.

If only it were that easy. I have tried to be less sensitive my entire life – but guess what? That’s kind of an impossible task.

As a teenager, I saw this part of me as a terrible thing. I believed the worst about myself – that I was an oversensitive drama-queen. I believed my worst critics – hook, line, and sinker. When you are sensitive, and you don’t have healthy boundaries, it is a crippling combination because you give the words of all people equal weight. So the person I admired and respected who spoke words of grace and beauty into my life – I believed them. But the person who was selfish and who spoke words of rejection and critique into my life – I believed those words as well. I let some really terrible things define me.

I forgot who I am.

Fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139)

A daughter of the King (who is enthralled by me). (Psalm 45:11)

A child of God. (1 John 3)

And this was a part of the crippling insecurity I waded through in my twenties.

As an adult, I am slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y, breaking those chains of insecurity and rejection and starting to see myself as God made me to be. A part of that transformation is I am starting to see this sensitivity as a gift from the Lord, not a flaw or a mistake on God’s part (as I thought it was for a decade).

I am sensitive – it is an integral part of who I am and there is a purpose behind it.

My sister-in-law, who is a gift from the Lord, recently said something powerful to me. She told me that I represented the heart of our family. Her words flowed over me like a healing river.

A heart is sensitive. A heart is incredibly vulnerable. A heart can be easily damaged. Yes – all of these things are true.

But a heart also pumps life.

I have started to see my identity not in the weakness of who I am, but in the strength. I have tried to let ministry, grace, healing, and peace flow out of me into the people around me who would receive it.

I fail so often. I have to apologize and humble myself constantly. I am a flawed human who battles sin and pride.

But I have a purpose – and I was designed by a Creator who does not make mistakes.

I am sensitive. It is what I am and I’m learning to be grateful for it. I am fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who loves me unconditionally. He gave me a husband to protect and guard me so that I can be who I was made to be without fear. Isn’t that a beautiful thing?  Such a sweet God we serve.