All My Hope is in You

How many times have I sung that song? How many times have I breathed that prayer? How many times have I told hurting friends that God is in control?

And yet weeks like this – weeks where I can’t figure out just how you are going to work something out so I drive myself crazy trying to figure it out for you, where my fear overwhelms, where that human instinct to control and correct and protect myself kicks in as if you are not my shelter and provider, so before I know it I am running full-bore seeking comfort and answers everywhere but you, these weeks show the lie of my heart.

My actions show that my hope is not in you.

I confess all this poisonous doubt in my heart.

Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you! Jeremiah 32:17

My confession today is that I don’t believe this verse and the thousands like it, even though I want to.

My confession today is that the things we face are so much bigger than us, and we need you to work miracles again, and I feel needy and weak for asking, even though I know you are good and I know you love me. I see you sometimes as a last resort – instead of the lover of my soul who wants me to come to you first.

My confession today is that I so quickly forget how PERFECTLY faithful you have been to provide for us. You have never let us down, you have never let us fall – and yet each time I test you again as if I don’t know that.

My confession today is that I am so quick to doubt, and I ask you to give me more faith. You are the author of all that is good in me and I want you to have more of my heart – all of my heart.

I’m sorry my faithful mighty God. I remain, as always, lost without you.

My biggest confession is that all my hope is in you. I’m so grateful for that truth today. And I’m so grateful for forgiveness and grace deeper than the ocean.

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.

Mountain Moving.

I woke up this morning with this verse in my head.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

The Lord knows me well.

I am thrilled.








Sometimes all at the same time.  I am a woman – made by God.  Creative and imaginative.  Which I have found can be an incredibly positive thing, or can mean I anticipate every possible negative scenario.  So this morning the Lord led me to Psalm 139.

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;  you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

You hem me in—behind and before;  you have laid your hand upon me. (Isn’t that fantastic?  I love that picture).

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to you;  the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!  How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.

When I awake,  I am still with you.

If only you would slay the wicked, O God!  Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

They speak of you with evil intent;  your adversaries misuse your name.

Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you?

I have nothing but hatred for them;  I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;  test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,  and lead me in the way everlasting.

There is a possibility on our horizon. Little more than a speck at this point, but that speck could turn into a great promise.  And I really have been asking the Lord if He would open this door for us – in my human understanding it seems the perfect scenario.  I sent a prayer request to some women in my life who I trust and who pray for our family.  One of the women wrote back and told me to begin to thank the Lord for this thing in faith.  I read that and thought, “Really Lord, it wouldn’t be presumptive to do that?  I could just thank you, in faith, for this thing?”

So I did, in my brown chair in my living room.  I thanked the Lord.  When I thanked Him I felt shivers from my head to my toes.  This weight seemed to lift off my shoulders.  It was a pretty powerful moment – I began to cry.  I can’t really explain the physical feeling of letting go of the hope of this thing and instead thanking the Lord for it.

One of the things I wrote these women who are praying for me is that I wanted to be careful that my hope was in the Lord, and not on this one thing.  I wanted to be able to say that God is good regardless.  So I know that the idea of thanking Him WAY in advance of Him actually giving us a thing seems contrary to that.  But I don’t think it is.  I think I was offering to the Lord the little faith I had.

In Matthew 17, Jesus takes three disciples up onto a mountain.  There, the glory of Jesus is revealed. They see Moses and Elijah and hear the voice of God.  As they come back down, they ask Jesus some questions.  You can tell that they are struggling to wrap their finite minds around the infinite nature of God.  Later, a man comes to Jesus to get healing for his son.  He tells Jesus that the disciples were unable to heal him.  With a word, Jesus heals the son.  The disciples ask Jesus why it was so simple for Him when they couldn’t help the boy.  Jesus replies, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

I think, sitting in my chair in my house, I offered up to God my little mustard seed of faith.  I think that physical reaction I experienced was a bit like stepping out of the boat to walk on water.  For a moment, I did something supernatural.  It wasn’t much – but it was all I had.

Jesus could have left the boy unhealed – to teach the disciples a lesson.  Sometimes we see God that way, right?  We think if we don’t have the faith, He might punish us and not give us the thing we need/want.  But Jesus isn’t like that.  He understands and He helps us in our weakness.

I am thankful that Jesus walked among us in our skin.  That his 11 closest friends were human.  So He gets it.  He understands that our minds cannot comprehend even a small percentage of His plan.   These disciples SAW the glory of Jesus, heard the voice of God, saw two men long dead alive and glowing.  And yet Jesus said their faith was still too small.  So this passage in Psalm 139 talks about God knowing us completely – every day, every thought, every word – but also loving us completely.  In fact, it seems to indicate that He compensates for our weaknesses.  We are hemmed in before and behind.  I visualize two huge shields covering me as I ball up into the fetal position.  Or a parent covering over the entire body of a child in an emergency.  Yes I am weak, but I am not the important part of this picture.  I am safe.  Protected.  Fought for.  And someone much larger and more powerful is in control.

So this morning I am grateful that I am hemmed in, before and behind.  I am enveloped in the love and grace of my Father.  And He knows my days.  I have done my share of the mountain moving.  I rest knowing it is now up to Him.


With tears in my eyes I write this one, because today was a rough day.  I say that not to garner sympathy, but because I have committed to walk this path with transparency.  And maybe someone is like me today and needs to hear this.

I woke up today with a heaviness.  A fear.  A dread.  I kept praying and trying to shake it off.   Still not sure why today was the first really tough day – but it was.  And truthfully most of the difficulty today was financial.  Today I moved money over from savings – our “emergency” cash reserves – with no real idea how I would pay it back.  And that was pretty scary.  And then this afternoon I heard that to have my test tomorrow, the test I need to verify that I need to have gallbladder surgery, I’ll need to pay out almost $1500 in the morning because I haven’t yet reached the deductible on my insurance.  Brutal.  So now I’ll need to move that over from savings as well.  And after that, truthfully, there isn’t much left.


This morning a precious friend was talking to me and I was telling her about the freelance things that Justin and I are piecing together to pay our bills over the next couple of months until we see what the Lord is going to do.  She said, “He gives us just enough manna for each day, doesn’t He?”  I laughed and began to remember the story.

I immediately got off the phone and looked up Exodus 16 and read again about the Israelites and manna.  You see, the Lord had rescued His people, the Israelites, from slavery.  They had seen Him do great and mighty things.  He parted a Sea and let them walk across on dry land, then he released the Sea on their enemies and they saw the bodies of their pursuers and their captives washed away.  The Lord then led them through a desert.  They were afraid because there was no food and no water, and they grumbled against the Lord.  So the Lord struck them all dead.

No He really didn’t.  Sometimes we see God that way though, don’t we?  We are afraid if we grumble against Him that He will squish us like a bug.  But that’s not how our God is.  I love that the Bible includes these stories of humans being human so we can see His mercy.

Exodus 16 says that they grumbled against Him, and then He…

Fed them.

Manna.  Just enough for each day.  In fact, to test them in this and see if they trusted Him to provide each day, He would cause the manna to rot each night if they happened to store any up.  He wanted them to look to Him, each day, for their daily bread.  Literally.

When I was younger I would read this and think, “Silly Israelites, why would you NOT trust Him?  You’ve seen what He’s done.  He rescued you.  He parted the Red Sea.  He brings manna from heaven.”  Now that I’m older and have kids and a mortgage, I unfortunately relate more with their grumbling.  I bet it was terrifying.  Deserts are vast and hot and creatures die in deserts.  I’m sure the Israelites were like me – they would hold their kids close and feel the weight of the responsibility to care for that sweet child the Lord had given them, and with tears in their eyes they would just beg God to work.

I am really tired.  And I am really scared.  Where we are, today, feels like a desert.  And although I do trust my God, there is this human part of me that feels alone in this.  I look around and all I see is desert.

So today I lay my fears at the feet of the cross.  I choose to trust Him with the manna He has provided for today.  I try to take comfort from the fact that the Israelites did in fact cross through the desert safely.  I look up to the God who saves and I ask Him to provide today for my family.  And I’ll turn to Him again tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next day.  Until He leads us through this particular desert.

Because our hope is in Him and He alone is our good.