The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation featuring Katharina and Martin Luther by Michelle DeRusha

Today is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. I am a big fan of this event and especially of Martin Luther. In fact, I have even seen the church doors. My original plan was to have a great post about a great book up about Luther. And that might happen in a day or two or three. Instead I took a nap because I have been a bit crabby and overwhelmed today. (I would like to think that my family appreciates the gesture.)
Anyway, I still wanted to share about the post and give you an excuse to order a book that I greatly enjoyed. After all, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation will never happen again. You need to buy something to celebrate! This well-written book changed how I thought about Luther and his lovely wife, Katharina forever. My real life friend Michelle DeRusha is the author, and the research that she put into this book is unreal. If you are wanting to learn more about the family life of the Luthers and Middle Ages this is the book for you. She does touch on spiritual matters, but I would consider this an introspective and educational book more than a straight theological one. Note: the link below is an affiliate one, so ordering this book helps both of us to continue writing. 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lines of Hope for the Financially Frustrated Featuring the Book “More than Just Making It” by Erin Odom

I think my husband and I would agree that becoming self-employed has been the best/hardest thing that we have ever done.  We had no idea getting into our own business would involve so many struggles.  Yet this very process has caused us to lean on God and each other in ways that we never would have had we not entered into this adventure.  But even if with all of the good that we can see, the life we have chosen is still  challenging.

That is why when I heard the subtitle of the book, More than Just Making It was Hope for the Financially Frustrated, the title popped to the top of the my “to-read” it.  Even with all of the clear and evident ways that God has made a way for us over the past 2 1/2 years, looking ahead at a murky future still seemed challenging.  And overwhelming.   I definitely was looking to add hope to despair.

I am definitely thankful I was chosen to be a part of the launch team.  Bonus: I got to read the book early.  And the insights I took away will forever impact me.

First, I could definitely relate to Erin’s perspective that I do not always understand what God’s provision entails.  Sometimes I forget that God giving just enough is still enough.  I want to depend on him even if the process is not easy.  And that is definitely the path that we are on with our business.  Reading through the #kissesfromJesus posts have definitely been encouraging and have helped me to realize that others are struggling financially as well.  We can support each other and be visual reminders that does God care for us.

Second, Erin pointed out that too often if we are struggling financially, we think that we need to spend less. While living on a budget is always a good idea, sometimes cutting back anymore on expenses may not be possible.  Instead the need to make more money.  That is definitely true for us.  We need to find a way to make more money.  And that process takes time.

Third was a lesson I did not anticipate. I did not realize how negatively people feel about those who are getting assistance in the midst of their poverty.  Or what a stigma I personally feel toward those who are getting help. I know that I often assume that those who are on food stamps are possibly lazy.  But maybe that is not the case at all.  I still need to pray through some of my stereotypes toward those who are struggling.  This book definitely helped me to be more aware of my prideful heart.

While I did get a free copy of the book, More than Just Making It, the opinions in this blog post are my own.  I will definitely read through parts of this book again and again to remind me of my need trust God.  Erin’s book is full of practical tips, suggestions and insights. Until September 5th if you preorder the book, you can receive all sorts of bonuses.  Watch the clip below to learn more about why Erin wrote this book and how it can encourage people in all sorts of financial situations.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Racial Headlines and the Fairy Godmother

With racial tension being featured in the headlines again, I wish I could call on the fairy godmother with unlimited wishes.  She could wave her wand over the situation, and this would be the result.

Bibbidi, bobbidi, boo …

  • No more instances where treatment is determined by skin color.
  • No more media throwing kerosene on an already explosive situation
  • No more trying to guess what this President or the last President really meant by what is said or done or not said or not done.
  • No more prejudice.
  • No more white supremacists.  Especially that.

Bibbidi, bobbidi, boo …

Are the problems gone yet? Or did not she wave her wand frantically enough.

If only life were that simple …

Praying about the situation, I feel helpless.  Silence seems like indifference.  Speaking up when I do not know the cure seems like handing out a wrong prescription.  And when I have little of merit to add to the conversation, my words seem like clamoring cymbals.  Because while I try to have love, I cannot help but be caught up in the hate that is spewing from both sides.  Some rightful.  Some not.

All I can seem to do is pray.  And when I read the portion of my Psalm for today, I know that praying for God to rescue the situation is the right start.  Psalm 35 verses 17 through 28 makes that pretty clear.  Especially verses 22.

O LORD, you know all about this.  Do not stay silent.  Do not abandon me now, O LORD.

Through the turmoil, I know that God is speaking because His truth is coming out in voices wiser than mine.  Oh might I listen.  And learn.  And continue to pray.  While they are digging in their heels standing for their truth, may I be next to them on my knees, calling out for God’s justice to prevail.

Some of my friends have had the opportunity to speak out in a public way about what is continuing to happen across the nation.  I greatly appreciate their perspectives.  And their wisdom.  Thank you for reading my feeble thoughts.  But PLEASE take the time to read theirs as well!

“Fear and Hate are Like Quicksand. Walk Around.”

I Was Raised on the Gospel of White Superiority

My friend, Deidra’s book, One: Unity in a Divided World came out this spring.  I am lingering through it, convinced that the message of how to stop divisiveness needs to penetrate my mind.  I highly recommend it and will do a whole post on the title when I have finished.

Today I added a new podcast to my list … The Shauna Niequist Podcast.  To my surprise, one of her segments had to do with this very topic before it even became an issue again.  In Episode 3, she happens to have Deidra as a guest, and they talk specifically about what white people can do to help stop the hate.  The conversation is worth listening to.





Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Confessional Lines of a Recovering Over-Achiever

One day when I was shopping, I came across this t-shirt.

Sacred Line WordPress blog

After reading the words, my heart sank.  Now before I start sounding like a lecture, I do think that is the trouble with society these days.  We somehow have bought the lie that the more we do, the better we are.  The more we contribute, the more we are liked.  The buzz word on the internet seems to be “hustle.”  Somehow scrambling and going beyond our limits has become a good thing.

For the past several months, God has been making it clear to me that I have been one of these people.  I like to help.  I like to make a difference.  I like to achieve.  But the problem has been that it has come at the expense of myself and even my family at times.  So I am trying to take a step back.

One thing I have done well for the past year or two is try to take a definite break on Sundays.  I try to avoid (or at least limit) social media.  Generally I read a book or take a nap.  I also try to limit our family’s activities for all of our sakes.  We need a breather.  Now sometimes activities cannot be help.  I am not all-powerful when it comes to rescheduling weddings or graduation open houses or even my son’s baseball schedule – that is not my place obviously.  But if we do have a crowded Sunday, I try to make sure that there is space in our schedule on another day.  With 4 kids, sometimes that can be challenging.  But I want my kids to know that one cannot be busy all of the time and still remain sane.

I want to rest.  I do not want to be in a hurry all of the time.  And my podcast playlist has been filled with recordings that remind me that I do not need to do it all.  That slowing down is possible.  Becoming less of an over achiever will take some time.  But I think I am finally on the right path.  And I am trusting God to teach me a better rhythm to my schedule.

By the way, did you notice that I have not written on this blog in over 5 months? I thought not.  And I am not apologizing.  Although I have had post ideas in my head, I have not found the time to write them.  I finally am convinced that is perfectly fine.  My time to have more of a platform might come at a later day.  Or it might not.  Either way is fine.  Now if you will excuse me, I need to go finish up a few things before I spend most of the afternoon at the pool with my kids!

P.S. I do hope to write several posts about favorite Christian authors again this summer.  That is definitely one of my goals – to read more!  Probably I will not share about as many authors as last year or be quite as scheduled.  But I do enjoy sharing about different books that have made a positive impact on my life.


Posted in Family Life, Following God | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seven Songs for my Savior: Song 7: “Birth of Love”

Perhaps today’s song does not exactly qualify as a traditional one.  But if you ever are feeling the “Christmas blues,” this song is definitely one that lift your heart.  This time of year can be a bit overwhelming.  In fact, I feel like we fall into traps of expectation early on.  I already am having to teach my daughter to how to not overwhelm herself during the Christmas season.  (She would like to make numerous gifts for everyone she loves.  A very sweet gesture but a bit difficult to pull off!)  I keep trying to encourage her that her family will just appreciate that she made an effort.  Christmas is supposed to be a celebration!  So crank up this song and rejoice that your Savior is born!

Happy birthday Jesus
Let’s celebrate the birth of Love

She was only 13
Young with a big dream
Then, unexpectedly, things would never be the same
Love was born, and she held a gift God made
Born for redemption’s sake
Earth was void ‘til He came
Love was born a, love was born a King

Now we all sing
L-o-v-e, L-o-v-e, L-o-v-e
Everybody sing
L-o-v-e, L-o-v-e, L-o-v-e
Love, love, love, love, love, la, la, love
Let’s celebrate, let’s celebrate,
Let’s celebrate the birth of love
Love, love, love, love, love, la, la, love
It’s Your birthday, it’s a new day, it’s the true way, in His love

Rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum
Let’s follow the beat of the drum
Doesn’t matter where you come from
Let’s come together as one and celebrate, let’s celebrate
Let’s take this love, and let’s elevate
To a place where we can conversate
And share our New Year’s dreams over grandma’s hot plates
Hey, hey, hey, hey everybody
Let’s celebrate that beautiful love
Hey, hey, everybody
Let’s celebrate that beautiful love
No silent night, no jingle bells
We gonna rock tonight
We gonna rock this love

Rock the love
L-o-v-e, L-o-v-e, L-o-v-e
Rock the love
L-o-v-e, L-o-v-e, L-o-v-e
Love, love, love, love, love, la, la, love
Let’s celebrate, let’s celebrate,
Let’s celebrate the birth of love
Love, love, love, love, love, la, la, love
It’s Your birthday, it’s a new day, it’s the true way, in His love

Now we welcome everybody to this beautiful celebration
We’re celebrating the birth of love
Yo Sarai, Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas, B!
Merry Christmas, Ben!
And Merry Christmas to all the SUPERHEROSE!
Feliz Navidad!
TobyMac, Diverse City, Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas to all the boys and girls across the world!
Merry Christmas!
And from the SUPERHEROSE galaxy – Happy birthday, Jesus!

Hey, hey throw your hands up!
Hey, hey throw your hands up!
Hey, hey throw your hands up!
Hey, hey throw your hands up!

Come on sing with me!

Love, love, love, love, love, la, la, love
Let’s celebrate, let’s celebrate,
Let’s celebrate the birth of love
Love, love, love, love, love, la, la, love
It’s Your birthday, it’s a new day, it’s the true way, in His love

Have a good night
Merry Christmas

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seven Songs for My Savior: Song Six: “No Eye Had Seen” by Michael W. Smith & Amy Grant

Michael W. Smith’s “Christmas” might have been one of the very first cd’s that I owned.    Since then he has created several albums, but I think his first one will always be one of my very favorites.  I think because the album seems to flow together naturally from one song to the next.

Song number six on the disc actually ranks up there as one of my very favorite Christmas songs.  (And that is saying a lot!)  Michael W. Smith wrote this song with Amy Grant.  They sing this song as a duet, and the lyrics literally echo in my heart.

No eye had seen
No ear had heard
‘Til hosts on high
Proclaimed the birth
And heaven brought down
(Quietly with no one watching)
Its only child
(From the womb of perfect peace)
The son of man
(Wellspring of our joy delivered)
The world reconciled
(Into earthly destiny)

And song broke forth
Angelic strain
And none could help
But sing the name

(Kyrie eleison we sing)
(Glory to the newborn King)
(Mortal and immortal voices)
(Endless praises echoing)

Kyrie eleison means “Lord, have mercy!”  (Yes, that is in fact what they are singing in that long 1980’s song too!)  Couldn’t we all use a bit more mercy?  More undeserved favor?  Thankful yet again that Christ came to dwell with us.  Glory to the newborn King!

Posted in Christmas Songs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Seven Songs for my Savior: Song Five: “Nations that Long in Darkness Walked” by Jill Phillips & Andy Gullahorn

Hymns of faith are gradually being lost in perpetuity.  (Sorry for the big word.  When else can I use that? 🙂  )  Anyway, I do like worship songs.  But there is something to be said about the classic songs faith.

That is why I always appreciate when artists bring new life to the old songs.  Andy Gullahorn and Jill Phillips added the song “Nations that Long in Darkness Walked.”  Reading through the lyrics penned by John Barnard is a lesson in theology.  I do think you will enjoy their rendition as much I do.

Nations that long in darkness walked
Have now beheld a glorious light;
On them who dwelt in shades of death
The light hath shinèd heav’nly bright.

For lo! the virgin’s Child is born;
To us the Son of God is giv’n.
Upon His shoulders shall be laid
The government of earth and Heav’n.

His Name is callèd Wonderful,
The Counselor, the mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace,
Peace dearly purchased with His blood.

His government shall know no bounds,
But far and wide o’er all extend;
And happy peace, the glorious fruits
Of His just reign, shall know no end.

O’er David’s kingdom, on His throne
To rule, and ’stablish it secure
With judgment clear, and justice right;
His reign forever shall endure.


Posted in Christmas Songs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment