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So apparently I can't even go shopping without Jesus getting in the middle of it.My husband and I went away for the weekend to celebrate his birthday (and coincidentally had one of the best weekends ever - sometimes you just have to suck it up and pay the money to get away from the laundry and dust bunnies that haunt you if you stay home.) We ate a delicious meal and inhaled incredible cheesecake.Then we decided we'd do some shopping. As we walked around the mall, I was simply overwhelmed. Everywhere I looked were fancy stores with incredibly expensive items. And to be honest, I wanted some of them. Or many of them. The consumer in me wanted to buy some of the designer clothes to bring my Pinterest closet to life. The stuff was beautiful. But y'all. It was expensive.Maybe it's because we weren't at the mall that we usually go to and I was seeing designer stores that I usually don't see, but I just felt really sad. I picked up a pair of sandals - the same brand that some of my 9th grade girls wear - and the price tag was $385. For sandals. Don't get me...


Sometimes we inadvertently reveal in our speech what is really hidden in our hearts. Case in point: today on Christian radio, I listened to a woman talk about how, as a schoolteacher, God has blessed her this year with a good class. A teacher myself, I understand the 'blessing' of a good class, but as a word person, I started thinking about what she really meant. Her well-behaved class is easier to manage and teach than an unruly one, so she ultimately sees it as good. Good, for most people who call themselves Christians, is equivalent to blessing. Good = blessing. Good = easy? Good = what we desire? Good = the life we want? If God blesses us with 'good' things, does that mean He curses us with bad? From a whole lot of Scripture and a whole lot of personal experience, I can tell you unequivocally that God does not curse us who are His children. He does not send us the "bad" as the opposite of the blessing. In actuality, the 'bad' often is - or leads to - the blessing itself.The hard situations of life - the challenging times, the difficult people, the situations we can't change or fix...


I never imagined the response I would get to a simple question posed on social media. I simply asked, "What do you think keeps people from doing what they would love to do and being who/what they'd love to be?" Apparently I struck a nerve - people sent me their responses electronically and told me their stories in person, and I was relieved because of what I felt was confirmed in their answers.I am not alone."Time.""Obligations and responsibilities.""Definitely money.""Guilt for putting themselves first.""Fear.""Fear of failing.""Fear of the unknown.""Fear--of failure, ridicule, looking like a fool.""Fear of not knowing they would be able to succeed in what they love...


Dear Students,I met you guys 13 years ago this August. You were 12 - not quite little children, but not quite young adults, that awkward stage now known as the "tween years." I was barely 21, a new college graduate with a head full of knowledge and a heart full of uncertainty. On the day we met, I was more nervous than I had ever been before. I had spent weeks shopping for and decorating our classroom, and to this day, I can remember exactly what it looked like. I remember the bulletin boards I painstakingly decorated and the curtains I hung in the windows. I had pored over the textbook, carefully choosing the stories I would teach and the projects you would complete. My lesson plans for those first weeks were impeccable, and my welcome letter to you was thoughtful and full of my hopes for our year together. In short, I thought I was ready for you. In fact, I have never been more wrong. Because, even though I was a magna cum laude graduate with a degree in Secondary Education who had aced the Praxis exam and received great feedback on my student teaching, I was not...