When You Feel Spiritually Dry & Need A Mid-Year Boost

The truth of Ann Voskamp’s words ring in my mind when she says “A year can evaporate before you know it.” Every year around this time Ann will talk about June as the second January – as an opportunity to do a reset halfway through the year. I love this perspective because sometimes when I feel too far behind to catch up, it’s easier to just quit.

When my bookmark is in Genesis & my reading plan shows I’m supposed to be halfway through.
When my brand new sneakers intended for trips to the gym are embarrassingly still new.
When my ignored friendships that were to be revived by coffee dates remain largely untouched.

I’ll readily admit it. Sometimes I need a reset halfway through.

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Spiritually Preparing Seniors for College – 3 Conversations to Have (Part 2)

“I’m not going to fall away. That’s the last thing I’d do. Faith is central to me.” The camera filmed as he stated exactly what so many students think after graduating high school. Then he continued “…that bubble burst within months.”

The typical eight-hour school schedule, face-to-face conversations with parents and familiar community will largely vanish in just a few short months. High school seniors are about to write their own story. From the party scene to classes to relationships, the power to decide will be in their hands. They now sit in the driver’s seat.

They are finishing a known chapter and simultaneously preparing for an unknown one. Often more open to advice in this uncomfortable transition, there are three last conversations I try to have…

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Teaching Students How to Pray

Prayer can be beautiful and raw yet also daunting. It reminds me of my vulnerability. It shatters my illusion of control. It runs completely against my instincts.

Instead of hurry, I am told to wait.

Instead of work, I am told to rest.

Instead of worry, I am told to believe.

The vulnerability of prayer, however, ushers me into an intimacy with God that can be found no other way. It is a key spiritual discipline that leads to spiritual maturity.

3 Resources to Help You Teach Students How to Pray

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Choosing the “Bright Sadness” of Lent

When Pursuit Has Left You Weary & Looking for More

Ding – the familiar sound sends my fingers scurrying to the computer tab that simply says Facebook (1). It’s become an automatic response – rushing to see what social media has to say about me.

It can be an insidious pursuit for approval or comfort that slips in a thousand different ways. Whether it’s watching the number of likes on an Instagram photo, an impulse shopping trip or sneaking the fourth triple chocolate brownie – the pursuit appears full of promise. Yet I find myself empty, weary and worn.

Ironically, lent appears devoid and empty – a place of lack, discomfort and denial. No instant gratification, no easy answers nor applause from others. It is a place that demands transparency and reveals motives – a place only the Lord can fully enter. So the question becomes – is this place of lack where my soul could truly thrive?

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How to Count When the Scale Screams Defeat

“You’re not thin, but you’re definitely not fat.” They were eight simple words out of the mouth of my high school crush. In the context of the conversation, he wasn’t being a jerk. He was complaining about his weight and I asked him what he thought of me. In retrospect – for a young high school guy – he actually navigated his response quite well.

Yet in my freshman girl’s heart, his words translated to “You’re not good enough” and I instantly concluded “If I lose weight, he might love me.”

It was an insidious belief. A number on a scale became the deciding factor of whether I was beautiful. It was a lie – a lie that suffocated and wrapped tightly around my heart.

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Finding God in Desperate Places: When Hurt, Heartbreak & Hard Times Surround

There are moments in life when the rug gets pulled right out from under you. Moments that take your breath away – whether it is a job layoff, miscarriage, divorce or one of the many relationship troubles that range from betrayal to abandonment.

These desperate moments remind us how little control we have in life. We feel small, vulnerable and unsafe. There are no easy fixes – sometimes just a dark valley ahead that stretches as far as you can see. So if your heart feels a little bruised today or you know someone who is barely hanging on – I hope you can find a little rest in these hope-filled truths.

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