Not I, But Christ in Me…Well Maybe I…

I was visiting with a friend recently and we were chatting about life in general and things coming up for each of us, you know just normal chit chat. We began talking through our different seasons of where we were in life and dreaming of future things we’d love to do when she made a statement regarding something she had noticed in herself. She said she had times where she was prideful about a given situation. She’s a great friend and an amazing follower of Christ and she just said openly that she oftentimes struggles with pride. It stunned me, only because just in days prior, I felt very convicted about feeling the EXACT same way!

I hated seeing it in myself and was grossly disappointed that I had allowed myself to think in that way. I’m a follower of Christ, a lover of Jesus and desire with everything in me to be more like Him. But, I was in fact being prideful…which had led to me having a critical spirit, even about myself. I was so burdened by it but as soon as she said those words….I exclaimed, “Oh my goodness….ME TOO!” We both laughed and shared our stories and on the drive home I was reminded of the humility of Christ in every aspect of his character. I was convicted and I repented.

See, no matter our age, our position or our level of influence, pride can sneak in and derail our thoughts, actions and even our destiny. Pride isolates us and pulls us away from the plans of the Lord. Pride is destructive, causing a critical spirit within us and oftentimes that spirit is projected to those around us. Pride is a false sense of security in our own ability and giftings. It seemingly elevates us in our own mind but only while pushing others down. Pride can stem from hurt or insecurities or lies that we have received as truth spit straight from the enemy to the deepest parts of our heart. Pride…we all struggle with some level of it, but when left unchecked and untreated, it destroys.

Seriously, minutes after my visit with my friend I opened my Bible to read and study and was reading in Jeremiah 49 about the destruction of Edom. In the commentary of my Life Application Study Bible were these words: “Edom was destroyed because of her pride. Pride destroys individuals as well as nations. It makes us think we can take care of ourselves without God’s help. Even serving God and others can lead us into pride. Take inventory of your life and service for God; ask God to point out and remove any pride you may be harboring.”¬†Really?!?!? Whoever says they do not receive anything when they read the word of God, must not be reading the same Bible I am. I just confessed to a friend that I had these feelings and felt horrible for it, drive home repenting and read this! God is so gracious and I am thankful for his gentle way of convicting, disciplining and redirecting us through His word!

Friends, pride is paralyzing. It will drive us to a place of no return if we do not deal with it. We must be willing to humble ourselves in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. Rather it’s dealing with difficult people, difficult situations or raging insecurities…we must be humble…not self-seeking and SERVE! It’s very hard to be prideful when we’re serving someone else ūüôā I am thankful for friends who aren’t afraid to be honest and vulnerable and who allow and encourage me to be the same. I am thankful for the forgiveness that God extends and the limitless amounts of grace He give us.

Lord, I pray for anyone reading this, who has had elevated thoughts of themselves at the expense of others or who has pride, in any form, tucked in their hearts. I pray that your Holy Spirit would pierce through the hardened walls of hearts to reveal your true purpose, their value and your destiny for them. Remind them that their destiny is not contingent on someone else’s success or failure and help us all to live in unity, as one body, encouraging and serving one another. Remove seeds of untruth from the enemy and replace it with the truth of your word. Destroy any remnant of pride in your people and allow humility to fill our hearts…in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Have a great week! XOXO


Recently I’ve been on a bit of a social media break, which I have to say has been refreshing. But can I tell you, I have felt out of the loop…people were talking about events like they were there and had experienced them, but no…it was just a simple post or picture from another that gave way to the open window into their world. I started to think how others would discuss my posts or pictures, as if they were beside me when I was experiencing what I was posting about. It was kinda freaky…and not to mention, unrealistic because I’m not very adventurous nor does my family post a lot of what happens in our world, we’re pretty boring :). But it was still something I pondered. My daughter knew the whereabouts of friends and friends of friends and what they had done, eaten or experienced in a day. While she probably couldn’t remember what she had for lunch just a few hours earlier…lol.

What in the world did we do before social media? We had conversations, we interacted with people to hear about their experiences from their own mouths and we viewed pictures they had developed of their family vacations. Now, we experience it right along with them…the good, the bad and oftentimes, the ugly. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy social media and think it definitely has its place in our ever changing society, but I have to admit…this break has made me very aware that I have succumbed to the convenience of checking social media to get updates on those I know and enjoy rather than picking up a phone to talk to them or arranging a visit to spend time with them. It made me sad to think I was living in an age where a comment on a post with a cute emoji or two is the extent of some relationships. Maybe I’m the only one who has gotten this terribly wrong, I hope that is the case, but going forward I want to go backwards just a bit. Back to face to face interaction, back to laughing together without the use of emoji’s and hashtags and back to actual conversations.

I already know some are reading this and shaking their heads that the world is too busy for this type of relationship building anymore. But I would argue that our world is desperate for it. We need each other to reignite a spirit of compassion, unity and empathy. Every post has a person and story behind it and people are our mission. I know our world is fast paced as are the people in it and social media definitely has its place but it should never replace real relationship and interaction with others.

Today, as you go about your day and check your social media, as God lays someone on your heart, maybe give them a call, write them a note and mail it or just pray for them. Let’s use our social media to build on our relationships not allow it to define them. Have an awesome day!!

I Wanted To Quit…

Last week I was chatting with someone and we were sharing our stories of work experience and what had led us to our current positions. We are both in similar roles at our jobs and I was recounting some experiences I had been through that she is currently walking through. She was calling to pick my brain but I ended up being reminded of a crucial fact that applies in every season.

I was explaining to her that years ago when I was only three months into a new job in ministry, I wanted desperately to give up. I told of her how I felt inadequate, insecure and completely sure God had made a mistake…I wanted to quit! But I didn’t. I pressed in and ended up growing more and experiencing more than I could have ever thought, dreamt or imagined. And then I said to her, “Sometimes when you enter a new season God has to prune some things both in you and the people around you in order for you to fit fully into the place God has you for that season.” What?? Where did that come from? Well I’m certain it was straight from the Lord and not only for her but a reminder for me.

As we enter into new seasons, things look and feel very different. Adjusting to a new normal isn’t easy and the temptation to give up and return to what’s normal looms over us. Like the Israelites who, on their way to the promised land, debated if they would be better off going back to Egypt. Why? Because even though Egypt was terrible, it was comfortable…they had become accustomed to the way they were treated and what to expect. Now, they were having to exercise their faith and be stretched beyond what was comfortable, it was difficult. But, had they returned to Egypt, they would have missed out on the fullness of what God had for them.

In the same way, if we revert to what is comfortable, safe and predictable then we miss out on the growth and expansion God wants to do in our lives. Growing can be painful and requires a level of obedience and surrender that is challenging at best. But, on the other side of it, we come out better, stronger and more equipped to do what God has laid before us to do. Pruning…trimming back things that aren’t fruitful and allowing for new things to be birthed. It has to happen in nature and it has to happen within us in order for healthy growth to occur.

Healthy things grow and as they do, their appearance changes. If we want to be healthy parents, friends, leaders, employees, etc., then we must allow God to do His work within us, pruning the things that need to be and planting seeds to be nurtured. New seasons represent new life, new growth and new experiences…all of which build on the previous seasons to prepare us for what’s ahead. Be encouraged today, even in your difficulties, that God is at work…pruning and shaping you for what He has planned for you.

Have a blessed day!

Love is in the Air…

Over the last year we have attended several weddings, one of which was our son’s! I absolutely love weddings. I love the first glance of a groom seeing his bride. I love the sweet moments of a father and daughter walking down the aisle, while the mother looks on in sheer joy. I love seeing mothers and fathers watch their son proudly enter into manhood pledging himself to his forever love. I love the joy in the air, catching up with old friends, the ceremony, the reception…all of it! I LOVE weddings. But more, I love what it represents…a commitment to God and each other, a covenant not meant to be broken.

Knowing a beautiful wedding doesn’t equal a beautiful marriage, my heart is wrecked when marriages end. This past week, we attended an amazing wedding of some of our dearest friends, but we also heard news of a long-time marriage ending. While we didn’t personally know the couple whose marriage ended, the wife was an author who I greatly respect and admire. I was devastated for her. I tried to put myself in her shoes and I was saddened at the thought of what she may be facing. I couldn’t make sense of it all.

I know God never wastes anything He allows in our lives. He uses the joys, the pains, the highs, the lows, the seasons of plenty and those of lack. Through each season and situation, there is something He is desperately trying to show us to shape us. In my reading, I came across this statement in the commentary of my Life Application Study Bible, “God uses his power to accomplish his purposes through his people. God doesn’t give you power to be all you want to be, but He gives you power to be all He wants you to be.”¬† See we all want to be happy and not have any problems, but that isn’t a reality nor does it require any level of faith or trust. The reality is things are uncertain, people are fallible and we are all sinners. This world is broken as are the people in it. Apart from God, there isn’t a chance of anything good to come out of our efforts. But with Him, there isn’t anything we can’t navigate through in order to become who He wants us to be.

I celebrate the union of two more dear friends as they embark on this amazing journey of marriage. I also mourn with those, whose beautiful wedding days are now a tearful memory of what was or what could have been…for that, I am deeply sorry. In both situations, God remains constant and ever present. Carrying each to the place He needs them to be. The stories may seem drastically different but are connected through one common denominator, God and His love. He loves so that we can love. We can love when it’s easy and when it seems undeserved and forced.

I love the picture above of the altar at the wedding we attended. It says, “We will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.” Isaiah 55:12¬†I think this verse is a great representation of, not only marriage, but our own walk with Christ. The JOY of the Lord is our strength, not our circumstances, and he will lead us…giving us peace in all that He allows.

Have a great day!

What A Week!!

As I sit and think what to pen on paper, my thoughts are scrambled and I can’t seem to bring order and even process what I’m thinking. Last week, I traveled to central Mexico with Children’s Cup to visit our CarePoints and spend time with our teams there. My heart was wrecked with all that I saw and experienced. While it’s difficult to put into words all that God did on this trip, here are a few things I walked away with:

  • The teams that are on the mission field and front lines with Children’s Cup and other organizations carry a huge weight as they hear and process daily what these precious kids encounter. They are true heros!!
  • Local church IS the hope of the world. Without the support of the local church, we couldn’t do what we do at ‘Cup and people all over the world would never hear the good news of the gospel. I am grateful for my church, Soul Church!
  • These kids we serve are precious…important and valuable with a divine destiny on their life. They are learning about Jesus and beginning to understand that He is always with them and there IS hope!
  • I am so blessed to live the life I’ve been given. I don’t want to waste my life, rather do all that I can to help people know and understand that God is the source of everything we will ever need in this life.
  • Worship truly does change the atmosphere. We watched kids worship and reflect on the power of the Lord. They came up to ask for prayer and sat in worship with hands lifted and hearts surrendered. I know this practice is going to change them and the environments in which they live.
  • I am grateful for leaders in my life (both past and present) who have helped me to see and understand God’s plans, while not always my plans, are the BEST plans.
  • I am thankful for my parents, while not perfect, they loved me, protected and provided for me.
  • I am thankful for my job, that allows me to be constantly reminded that this is a large and broken world that needs the Hope that is in Jesus. I get to play a small part in bringing that hope and showing the love of Jesus to those around me…what an honor!
  • Success does not equal fame and notoriety, but is living a life that is a direct reflection of the God we serve. Those willing to step out in obedience, even when its hard and the outcome is uncertain, are the pacesetters. Success is giving it all for those who can give nothing in return.
  • There is a lot of work yet to be done in this world.
  • I want to live surrendered to His plans. I don’t want to be fearful to go and do what God says to do. This life…my life, it isn’t about me. Here am I….send me.
  • My husband and my children are just about the best gift God has ever given. They are my treasures and I am beyond blessed to get to share this journey with them.
  • The word of God is everything…it refines, reshapes, convicts, corrects, confirms and establishes a foundation on which we can grow and develop in Christ.

These thoughts are choppy and scattered but are a few of the things swirling around in my head as I try to process this last week and this season in my life. It’s new and unfamiliar territory in a lot of ways. But, I know that God is peace in chaos and security in my insecurities. He is the constant in an ever changing world and He is my refuge. He softened my heart and deposited things in my spirit I didn’t even know I needed last week. He is masterful at how He loves and grows us…lean in…don’t resist and seek to find Him in all things. He is always there and always growing, shaping and stretching us into who He created us to be ūüôā

Have a great week,




How is it sometimes you find yourself in a wrestling match with God over things you thought you had gained victory over? Like most of us, I struggle with insecurity and feeling that I’m unqualified for this or that. I have worked to overcome my insecurities and allowed God to use me in ways I¬†never thought I would. But over the last several months, I found myself stuck yet again. Stuck in the mindset of what I could or could not do, arguing with God that I didn’t measure up or feel worthy to do certain things He was urging me to do. How did I get back here?

As I processed my thoughts and reminded God of my deficiencies, I recounted words that had been spoken to me, about me or over me. Some were really encouraging and gave me confidence while others brought tears and heartache. The reality is I¬†know what God’s word says about me and my mind was sure of that, but because I had stepped out in faith and my confidence had been shaken, my heart hadn’t yet caught up with my mind. I was insecure, unsure and certain that I had misheard God. I was stuck…immovable spiritually…confidence shattered…confused. I only recently realized the devastating toll it took on me. I had become apathetic about moving forward.

I knew my thoughts had gripped me and I had to do something. I read and listened to sermon after sermon. One sermon resonated and it clicked! The pastor said, “Just because God moved one way in one season doesn’t mean He’ll move the same way in this season.”¬† I was expecting things to play out the same way they had in the past. But I wasn’t the same person I was in the past so why wouldn’t God expect more of me now? Why shouldn’t I have to trust at a deeper level…why shouldn’t I get my confidence bumped? If He didn’t allow this, I would stay the same…weak in spirit. He wasn’t allowing disappointment to discourage me but to grow me. I felt tossed aside when actually He was gently scooping me in closer. I saw the difficulty as disapproval when in reality it was simply redirection and refinement.

I’ve been digging my way out of where I let my mind take me and regaining confidence in who God has created me to be. I still feel unqualified, at times, but I trust that whatever it is God puts in front of me, He will fully equip me to handle. I’ve come to expect resistance and have settled into the fact that God decides it all. He chooses who, when, where and how in our lives. He marks our path and gently guides us in this direction or that. He is constantly reshaping, refining and preparing us for what lies ahead.

Today, if you’re facing disappointment or difficulty, be encouraged. On the other side is growth and strength. But you have to go through it to get to it! Keep pressing!!



I Am Weary…

I absolutely love reading about the prophets in the Old Testament. Reading in Jeremiah, he was having a moment of complaining. I don’t know about you but I can certainly relate. Jeremiah was called by the Lord to warn the people of Judah to turn from their evil ways and turn back to the Lord. Jeremiah worked to teach the Word of the Lord and each time he spoke up he was met with opposition and persecution.

In a moment of weakness after being beaten and locked up in Chapter 20, Jeremiah begins to complain to God. In verses 7-8 Jeremiah says, “O Lord, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming¬†violence¬†and destruction. So the word¬†of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long.”

Jeremiah, who had an intimate awareness of God’s presence, was struggling with insecurity in his purpose. I’ve been there. Knowing that God was pushing me out of my comfort zone to do this or¬†say that, I’ve doubted based on my own ability, looking only at my immediate discomfort or uneasiness. I’ve cried out to God to explain the opposition, as if He didn’t¬†already know it. I’ve wanted to shrink back and be passive about sharing ¬†or inviting or whatever God was asking me to do. But ultimately, we are all called by God for a specific purpose and one that is individual to each of us. God wants us to play our part and to do it with confidence, trusting that He will fill the spaces we can’t. But the enemy…he will drudge up¬†every insecurity, make every obstacle bigger than it is¬†and try his best to convince us¬†that we¬†aren’t making a difference and it’s all for nothing.

BUT, I love what Jeremiah says in verse 9, right after seemingly giving up. He says,¬†“But if I say, ‘I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed I cannot. That’s right, he has a moment of self-loathing but quickly realizes saying nothing isn’t an option. The need is too urgent, the potential loss is too great. He HAS to act, he HAS to keep going. He goes on in the chapter to declare the power and faithfulness¬†of the Lord and you see over a few verses how Jeremiah talks himself right out of a pit into a position of power.

Like Jeremiah, we can’t sit back and say nothing.¬†God hasn’t¬†changed¬†our¬†lives just for us, He wants us¬†to share our experiences to help others come to know Him. As Easter approaches and people become more open to the idea of attending church, make sure you aren’t missing a single opportunity to share the good news and extend an invitation. My pastor, Pastor Brad Barbour, shared a challenging message yesterday about not hitting the snooze button as a Christian. Take a listen here.

May it be said of us that “his word is in our¬†hearts like a fire, a fire shut up in our bones. We are weary of holding it in; indeed we cannot!”

If you don’t have a regular church, I’d like to invite you to mine, Soul Church. We have service at 10am every Sunday at Centennial Middle, 1900 Main Campus Drive, Raleigh NC. Have a blessed week and remember, if you begin to feel weary in your purpose, know that God is still there, the same as He has always been, loving you and ever present in every challenge, high and low!!!