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How I Got Free From My Trap of Depression

When you know something, you can’t unknow it. That earthly law is true for our spiritual lives as well. I was raised by my dad and a strict Pentecostal Holiness grandmother. I was taught how to dress, which included, in the South, always wearing a slip. I was not permitted to spend an inordinate amount […]

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Why Your Work as a Mom Is Important

When I was growing up, my family took a two-week camping trip along the Oregon coast, and we visited many scenic parks and landmarks — including several beautiful lighthouses. While these lighthouses were no longer functioning and had been turned into tourist destinations, I was enchanted by the idea of a lighthouse warning ships away […]

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Strength for the Stressed-Out Mom

When my youngest daughter was born, we were relieved to discover she was such an easy, compliant child. We marveled over her sweet temperament. She played quietly with toys by herself. She gave sweet hugs to her brother and older sister when they were upset or cried. She went to bed without complaint. Generally, she […]

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4 Truths to Consider When God Closes a Door

Several years ago, after a miscarriage and surgery, I went home and immediately felt something wasn’t right in my body. I called up the nurse, and she rationalized that I was most likely experiencing side effects from the drugs administered in the emergency room. But I still felt really funny. My heart raced uncontrollably even when I was lying down. I felt so […]

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Why Isn’t God Blessing Me?

My husband had a professor in college who responded to most, if not all, student questions with the same answer. If a student asked about grading requirements for an assignment, the professor would say, “Check the website.”  If a student asked about dates for tests, the professor would say, “Check the website.” The professor’s frequent use of […]

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What I Learned From My Miscarriage

Miscarriage is an ugly word. I don’t even like to say it. It is too much like “mistake” or “miss” — as in “missed the mark.” The pain is a private, intense humiliation that very few can understand. There is grief for a child that you did not know, for a life that was but then wasn’t. […]

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Persevering to Receive God’s Promises

“Call her back.” I felt God’s nudge when I hung up the phone with the call center representative. After making an appointment, I had felt led to ask her if she needed prayer for anything. She gladly consented and shared her needs. I prayed with her on the phone and then hung up. I then […]

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God, Why Have You Led Me Here?

  I hung up the phone, my heart racing. Well that definitely didn’t go the way I had expected, I thought to myself. I had made the phone call at God’s bidding and said what He wanted, but the other person’s reaction hadn’t been the positive one I anticipated. Afterwards, I sat there fuming at God. […]

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How to Approach the Reading of God’s Word

Recently, while helping my 6th grade daughter study for a social studies exam, I noticed she didn’t appear very confident about the answers on a particular section. When I asked her the reason, she admitted to me that she had just guessed the answers on that section because she couldn’t find the answers in her […]

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All We Need to Have Joy This Christmas

Some time ago, I picked up a prescription at the pharmacy. As I was waiting in line, I overheard the cashier say to the person in front of me, “There’s not much you can do.” She was referring to the disaster of Hurricane Harvey as it ravaged the Houston area, and the fact that there […]

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Cultivating Peace When Life Is Crazy

Do you have a situation in your life driving you crazy? I’ve got one that keeps popping up in my life. Even I say in advance that I’m going to approach the situation without losing it, I find, more often than not, that I do the exact opposite. Recently, I had a string of days […]

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Holding Onto Hope When Experiencing Injustice

“Injustice” is a term we see frequently in the news right now. There are people who are protesting against injustices in our society and government. Some are protesting in the right way by gathering in peaceful assemblies to have their message heard. Others are protesting in the wrong way by rioting — even taking over […]

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Viewing Persecution as a Blessing

I have a confession to make. I don’t love surprises. Of course, I love a surprise gift or a surprise text from a friend, but I don’t love surprises that bring unpleasantness into my life: the unexpected medical bill, the conflict with a friend I didn’t see coming, the problem with a child that pops […]

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Navigating Suffering When We Want to Understand

When I was little, my mom used to tell me that God knew me better than I knew myself. I protested, “No, He doesn’t. No one knows me better than I know myself!” My mom gently tried to persuade me otherwise, but I couldn’t understand how this could be true. Now, as an adult, I […]

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Joy in the Midst of Trials

“Oh no!” I groaned when I heard the clanking sound. I rushed upstairs and looked in the laundry room to find the error light blinking on the dryer and the lint screen lying close by on the ground. I had forgotten to put in the lint screen, and my dryer was making strange sounds. Appliances […]

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The Faith to Overcome Life’s Storms

Some people in the Bible inspire me but also intimidate me a little. I think about Paul throwing a serpent in the fire, Daniel praying with the windows open in a pagan kingdom, and Esther seeking a meeting with a king to save her people  — and I feel small in comparison. However, Peter is a person I can relate to. He often said the wrong thing or […]