A Million Stories About the Goodness of God

29 Nov

There are a million little stories I could tell about the goodness of God. I am afraid they will get lost in the overarching shadow of how hard this season has been, but I need to tell them anyways. We started this year with excitement, slight terror, and a lot of anticipation. My prayer and stirring had been “Disturb us, Lord” and He did. But as He pushed us out of our comfort and security, He provided in every way possible. He opened doors and cleared our path, leading us by fire and cloud, giving us every provision necessary for our journey. 

There are a million stories I could tell about the goodness of God, but I will start in July of 2021. After a short 2 months in Texas preparing for the trip and watching God do miracle after miracle to launch our ministry, we hugged goodbye to my dear father and mother-in-law and hit the road. After 4 years of living 1,000 miles away in Minnesota, we were so grateful to return to Texas as our home base and were looking forward to us and the kids spending more time with family when we weren’t traveling. I am going to try to tell the story the best I can but I know I am missing pieces that probably won’t resurface for a while. 

We started with a miracle of rain. It was dry, so dry, as the dessert is. The pastor in Seligman, AZ, asked us to pray for rain. So we told the kids and we watched them grab hands and pray at a gas station in the middle of nowhere New Mexico. The rain started a few hours later, following us into the tiny town off of Route 66. 

We entered California with hope and excitement. This state had been on our hearts for over a year, and there was something about the first returning back to the place where Jean-Thomas and I were both born, together. The prophetic words, the spiritual atmosphere, the way the church was alive in the middle of a crazy and corrupt culture. We worshipped on the porch of a ranch surrounded by orange groves. We had the best conversations and food with the most precious people. We had our hard days, and our good days. We were invited to a wedding reception. We watched the Holy Spirit move in a bowling alley, and in the church where my father-in-law got saved, met my mother-in-law, and started their ministry.

We worried and gave everything to the Lord, yelled, laughed, and cried. We watched our kids come alive, rebel, pray, act out, get bored, whine, and worship with all their hearts. I prayed a kind of selfish prayer that we would somehow miraculously be able to take them to Disneyland, and the next day, on our 8th anniversary, I get a text from a beautiful soul who wishes to remain anonymous, insisting they buy us tickets! We had more fun as a family than ever. We walked more miles and laughed and made precious memories. 

We slept in different beds and hotel rooms of all different sizes and levels of newness. We watched our car break, multiple times. We worried again and gave it to God again, and somehow, every time it was covered. Everything we needed was there. God kept speaking over and over again, “There is no lack.” I thought it was about finances at first then realized it was so much more…. of course, I had no idea what those words would mean to my spirit in a few short months… 

We drove north and saw redwoods and air polluted by nearby fires. We visited churches and dear people who welcomed us like family and shared their homes and their meals and their insight. I watched my husband bring the Word in power and authority to hungry people. We went to see Crater Lake on a day where it was supposed to be too hazy, only to watch the smoke clear and the lake appear in all its bright blue glory.

We drove many miles across many state lines. We picked blackberries in Idaho and sat on a back porch overlooking mountains to study the bible. We met a biker ministry in the hotel hot tub who spoke words of encouragement and support. We spent a beautiful, hard week in Montana, watched the sunset, led a 3-day crusade, prayed over people, and remembered spiritual warfare was real.

We fixed our car, again, only to immediately get reimbursed when we weren’t sure how we were gonna pay for it. We made some long drives, exhausted and unsure how we were going to keep going. But we persevered, knowing that there was rest at the end. But rest never came. The unthinkable happened. We got a phone call that flipped our world upside down. We sat in a hotel overlooking the skyline of Las Vegas and prayed as we had never prayed before.

We came back to where we started, Arizona, knowing everything was hanging in the balance. In another old hotel off of route 66, we found out my dear mother-in-law went to be with Jesus. My husband lost his mother. My kids lost their grandma. It was unthinkable and unexplainable. We kept believing for a miracle, a resurrection. We kept moving forward knowing that was where God wanted us to be. We spent a few days in Phoenix and saw glimpses of how Jesus was already bringing good out of all of this. Yet there was so much still to grieve and process, and we still had to finish strong. 

We pulled into a catholic retreat center in a canyon utterly broken. We had no WIFI or cell phone service. I was angry at first that God would bring us to such a place with nothing to distract ourselves from the pain, but I knew He was moving, healing, speaking, even as we wrestled with Him. I watched my husband preach and worship with his whole heart in the same church where he first came as a baby in his mother’s womb for her baby shower. The timing was tragically beautiful, and something only God could have pulled off. I realized how He had orchestrated every moment, how dear Wendy had listened to His voice and helped us launch our ministry with her last days on earth. 

The Holy Spirit moved. We saw physical healing. The people and conversations were just what we needed. We left for Texas, barely making it as our car broke down one last time. But this time, it was literally as we pulled in the driveway, despite having smelled a burning smell and heard an awful noise 500 miles prior. I believe God literally held that car together as we limped home. I told Him I didn’t think we could emotionally handle being on the side of the road in New Mexico, and He came through. 

“There is no lack.” Those words reverberated as I felt like the extreme opposite. I felt the lack, the huge gap missing in my mother-by-marriage, my kid’s wonderful grandma, the one who had raised the man of my dreams. I felt the lack, but then I felt God fill in the gaps in all the little and big ways that He does, as long as I let myself have eyes to see it. His abundance. His beauty from ashes. 

“There is no lack.” 

I watched Him come through: physically, financially, emotionally, spiritually. Providing what He knows we need, sometimes more, sometimes just enough for the moment. 

I know, the story is far from over, life is just beginning and this chapter is just getting to the interesting part. The part of the adventure where the hero begins to realize that even when it seems all is lost, the strength to carry on was inside of him all along. The part when he stands up and wipes off the dust, the tears, the blood and knows that his calling and purpose is so much greater than the trials and struggles that inevitably come when pioneering a new path. It’s the part when the night seems the darkest and the world seems in chaos like the evil has actually won…. But then…. A soft cry pierces the silent night…. Our hearts leap inside our chests…. HOPE. 

There are a million stories I could tell about the goodness of God, but I will tell just one:

Jesus came to us, so we could have life and LIFE abundant.

There is NO lack in Him.

I’ll Count the Stars

9 Jun

Last night I had a dream I was walking with my three kids down a path that led to the water. There were mountains across a large lake and the sun was about to set. They sat peacefully next to me on the shore of the lake, uncharacteristically quiet and still. The sky was streaked with beautiful oranges, pinks, reds, yellows all fading into on another like spilled paint.

My kids pointed, their eyes wide and mouthes agap in pure awe of the sight. Time sped up as it can in dreams (and real life) and before we knew it the colored faded to a deep dark blue on the edge of black. The most magnificant stars shone bright as if a switch was turned on. We pointed and gasped, as shooting stars lit up the sky and God gave us the most amazing show.

I woke up, and an utter and complete peace washed over me.

Parenting, by far, is the most difficult thing I have ever done. I somehow gave birth to three fierely independent, strong-willed, stubborn, passionate warriors and many days I ask “how do I do this?”

I often don’t feel equipped.
I often lose my patience.
I often want to be left alone, to just have moment to myself, to have some peace.

But just like with Abraham, God promised our inheritance would be as bright and numerous as the stars.

That doesn’t mean too many kids to handle (thank God!) but whether there is 1 or 12, There is grace to raise them.

There is provison for them.
There is wisdom and understanding and patience and peace the Holy Spirit will give in the midst of the wilderness, in the most difficult parenting battles.

His promises are as sure as the stars in the sky.

I worry about the “hows” of life. The logistics of all the unknowns God is calling our family to.

And there is Jesus, leading us to the shore, saying,

“Sit awhile and watch. Be at peace and see. See the wonder of my creation.

See the amazing thing I will do in your life and your children as you surrender each day to me.
See how my promises come to pass, the deep desires of your heart are fullfilled as you walk every moment with me.

See how I tailor-made each of your children for this life.
See how they prosper and thrive in me.
See how even the yoke of raising humans in easy and light in me.
See how your children will shine like bright stars in a dark universe.
See the miracles I do.
See the wonder and awe.

See me
In the sunset,
The shooting stars,
The majestic mountains,
The magic in the eyes of your children,
In this adventure of life.”

I See God on the Road

17 Apr

In 1999, I traveled to Dallas, Texas to attend my Grandma’s birthday. I didn’t know it would be for my Grandfather’s funeral. I didn’t know that in my grief, my cousin would hand me a cassette tape of a band called Caedmon’s Call. This tape would contain a song by Derek Webb, entitled, “Faith My Eyes.” I didn’t know, as I played it on repeat from my black boombox in my room in a rural town in New Hampshire, that that song would become my life anthem, one I would play over and over….

And I don’t want to know

Cause life is better off a mystery

I didn’t know that three years later my best friend would convince me to leave our tiny town and go on an adventure for Jesus. That two week mission’s trip would take me not only to Jamaica, but back to Texas where the entire trajectory of my life would change.

I had no idea I would sit in a huge room in East Texas and know without a shadow of a doubt God was calling me to something deeper, something bigger. Something completely out of the ordinary. 

I had no clue that in 2005 I would find myself falling asleep on a bus, staring at the road’s white line glowing in the darkness, filled with a deeper joy and excitement that I had ever experienced. It was completely unexpected, but once it happened it made sense. I remembered as a child, daydreaming constantly about traveling to new places. I adored waking up to towering snow-capped mountains and delicious salty beaches. Experiencing new things, staying in new places. Watching Jesus free me from deep-rooted fear as I met people from all walks of life all over this diverse and beautiful country. 

I had no idea that this shy, insecure girl from nowhere New England would see America back and forth, up and down many times. That we would break down on the side of the road in the desert and I’d be secretly thrilled, because I’d never seen stars so magnificent. I wasn’t prepared with how deeply I would fall in love with the road. How I’d love sleeping in a new place every night. How I’d see Jesus in the people I met, all the conversations, the signs and connections. 

So keep on coming, these lines on the road. 

I could have never imagined that this life would lead me to places I’d only dreamed of, all over the world. That I would find myself in 2008 once again falling asleep on a bus but this time in Western China. That I would hear the Holy Spirit nearly audibly speak seven words that changed everything:

“I want to give you the world.”

For some reason, I would spend the next decade attempting to “settle down”… and failing miserably.

I didn’t know that a year after China I would meet the love of my life who, of course, grew up on a bus. That our love of the road would bring us together, and four years later on our wedding day we would pose kissing in front of a pile of suitcases and a sign post of all those places that were important to us in the past, and ones we thought would be significant in the future. 

Keep me responsible, 

Be it a light or heavy load

Then, life didn’t feel so free. Disappointments. Dreams died. Suddenly, we felt stuck. 

I tried to bury the ache in me. I tried to convince myself I was just antsy, never satisfied, that I needed to put down roots. We started over again in Minnesota and still the ache persisted. Three kids now, full blown adulting and all the bills, the anxiety, the plans out the window. 

I had no clue that in 2020, the world as we knew it would turn upside down and shaken like a snowglobe. 

I didn’t realize yet that was the best possible thing that could happen. 

Keep me guessing, these blessings in disguise. 

The questions came, slowly at first, then piling on top of each other like Minnesota snowflakes, changing the landscape of my heart. 

“What if I am not just ‘antsy’? What if this is how God created us to be? What if wandering, exploring, adventure, pioneering, is in our DNA? What if we are fighting against it by trying to have a ‘normal’ life? What if the reason God made us like this was so we could GO, spread the Gospel, see His Kingdom come? What if…. We could actually do it? With three kids? Without a solid plan? Are we insane…?”

The Voice grew louder and louder, as the world fell into more and more chaos. 

My plan hasn’t changed. I want to give you the world.”

I’ll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes. 

I look back on the past 20-something years of life, and I see His hand. I see how He put these desires in my heart, allowing me to be at a place where I surrender them, only to bring them back again. 

I see God on the road. Jesus, beckoning us forward, to move, to get up, to leave our comfort behind. To move like the wind. Follow the Spirit. Live an adventure. Live fully alive. 

“There is a road
always beckoning.

When you see
the two sides
of it
closing together
at that far horizon
and deep in
the foundations
of your own
at exactly
the same
that’s how
you know
it’s the road
to follow.

That’s how
you know
it’s where
to go.

That’s how
you know
you have
to go.

how you know.

Just beyond
where you
need to be.”

-David Whyte- Just Beyond Yourself

The Other Side of Survival

1 Feb

One month into 2021 and everything already feels so different. It was like I was playing that childhood game where you try to hold your breath while driving through a tunnel. It is dark and you can see the light in the distance but your lungs start to burn and you don’t know if you will make it.


I’ve been on this meandering journey of seeing Jesus in the conversation and connections. Now things are speeding up. I am letting go of comfort all over again and embracing the way I was meant to live. For awhile I was drowning in anxiety, in motherhood, in distractions. Now I am finding truth and purpose in The Word. Now I can see again.

I still don’t know a lot of things, and that’s ok. I don’t know the quality of the world my children will grow up in, but I know they will be strong. I want to protect them and give them everything at once. I want them to be so much braver than I could ever be, to risk more for the Kingdom of God.

Risk it all for the Kingdom of God. On the other side of simply surviving, that is stirring, again. It started 12 years ago, maybe 18 if I am being honest, maybe even further back, 30 years ago when I was 5 and knew I was going to be a writer and change the world with my words. That was a heavy weight to bear, before I realized that The One who created me carried it for me. I shouldered other burdens too, ones that made me afraid of people and the darkness, that nearly silenced my voice figuratively and literally.

I feel that scared girl in me once in awhile still when I look at my 6-year-old daughter and I see all her boldness and beauty, that fierce spirit I wish I had when I was young. Despite all I have overcome, sometimes I still believe the lie that I don’t know how to be a good mom. I don’t know how to explain the world is so beautiful and so broken, with all of the morning bird songs and the cracks in our own voices from trauma and lies. I want so much more for her then I had. I want so much more for my boys too.

Motherhood feels like a great experiment most days. There are no how-to manuals, well, there are, but the manmade ones are mostly bullshit. No one can prepare you for all the heartache and longing and loathing and heart-outside-your chest love. The fierce fight that rises in you. The only thing you can do is walk in love and follow the Spirit.

I know maybe what Jesus is trying to teach me in this season is so simple. That parenting really, life, can be simple no matter how freaking complex this world may get.

We all just need to know we are loved. (John 3:16)

That we are capable of greatness. (John 14:12)

We all just need to know there is beauty in the world in spite of all the madness. (Ecc. 3:11)

We need to know that the hard days mean something, even if it is just one small step closer to knowing the heart of Jesus. (James 1:2-4)

We need to know that these momentary afflictions are creating an eternal weight of glory. (2 Cor. 4:17)

I have no idea what the world outside is going to look like tomorrow. It could be a utopia, or a desolate post-apocalyptical wasteland. It will probably be somewhere in the middle.

But no matter what, we know that this great adventure of life isn’t about never struggling. In fact, it is the opposite.

It is about finding joy in everything, because joy is real and it lives within us. (John 16:33)

Peace has a name. Jesus. (Eph. 2:14)

I don’t know what my government is doing or how corruption is going to keep running rampant, but I do know that I have nothing to fear and it is all because of Jesus. (1 John 4:18)

I know people need my words of faith and light right now in this dark time. (Hab. 2:2)

I know my children will shine like stars in the universe. (Phil. 2:15)

I am gonna teach them, as they teach me, the best thing you can possibly do with your life is love Jesus and risk it all for His Kingdom. (Matt. 6:33)

I see the light in the distance. It is beautiful and almost blinding. But I don’t even need to physically see. I am walking with Kingdom eyes now. I hold my children’s hands, grab my husband’s arm, and take a step forward. The adventure has just begun.


27 Aug

Remember when
We’d get lost in a crowd
Bump shoulders with a stranger
Emmersed in the swelling music
A sound bigger than all of us

Remember when
We’d smile at the elderly woman
In the grocery store
Browsing the same aisle
And she would smile back
And lean her wrinkled face towards
Our sticky toddler
To say hello
And remind us how fast childhood goes

Remember when
We’d shake hands
Look each other in the eye
Speak our minds
With kindness
Believe in the good of our neighbors
Our country

We are well

When we’d
Sit in coffee shops
Inhaling the scent of being awake
Eavesdropping on conversations
From the tables next to ours
Reading faces
Watching life happen
Outside the window

Remember when
We’d dream of traveling
The world
Of every gorgeous &
Dangerous possibility
Open before us

They told us
To fear

And we forgot
To live


31 May

We watch our cities burn
And wonder
How we can stop
The hate that festers
Because of hue
The judgement that finds
What is different
In another human
And fears it
We try to educate
To eradicate the evil
That grows like cancer
In our bones
Our 13-Step programs fail
Our willpower won’t work
Our attempt at recompense
are empty
Our efforts always fall short
As the gap widens further
More blame
More destruction
More lives ruined
In a room
They sat
Today and over 2,000 years ago
Every shade of melanin gathered

Then came a fire
But not the burning buildings type

A living kind
The same light, warmth, ferocity
That spoke through a bush
To free His children from slavery
That led them through miles of wilderness
That jealously consumed a soaked altar
That came upon them That Day (and today)
ALL languages
Were not
And all at once
Languages were understood
Barriers broken
Generations of wounds mended
The gospel being proclaimed
By the same man
Who walked with Jesus
And denied Him
At the crux of The Story
All at once
EVERY tongue, tribe, and nation
Knew who was King
Knew we are all one
Knew Who will heal this land
Starting in OUR hearts

Come, let us return to Him
To that room
Let the Fire consume us
Be healed

*Acts 2*
*Photo by Matheus Bertelli from StockSnap*

 No More Crossing Off Days

19 May

You’re probably going to hate me for saying this, but despite everything, 2020 has been one of the best years of my life so far. It is strange, how you can’t always recognize the metamorphosis happening when you’re in the middle of it. It is dark, kind of cramped and uncomfortable, and not a lot seems to be even happening.

In December, I was driving to a Wednesday night prayer and worship meeting at a local church and I suddenly felt God say, “I want to free you from anxiety.”  I thought “Well, that’s good. Of course you do. I believe someday you will.” I didn’t realize how cozy I was, snuggled up next to my old life-sucking friend, how “normal” it felt to have these terrible thoughts constantly, to overthink, to get that feeling in the pit of my stomach, to panic and obsess until I reach behind me when driving to make sure I really put my baby in his car seat, that I didn’t leave him at home. It was normal. I didn’t need drugs. I was just dealing. Panic attacks on what was supposed to be a relaxing anniversary cruise with my husband wouldn’t stop me from forcing myself to have a good time. Facing my fear because that’s what I always did. Living with it. Sucking it up. Choosing to ignore and be thankful and live the best way I knew how.

That night, unexpectedly, it left like an evicted tenant, never returning.

I left it at the altar with tears of joy, with freedom like I hadn’t felt in years, with butterfly wings emerging.

The next few weeks I couldn’t even recognize my own thought patterns. My head felt clear. Like the stormy waves had gone from crashing to the stillness of a mist-covered pond in the morning light.

The beauty of it all, is that I did nothing. I didn’t follow a step-by-step process. I didn’t repeat scripture over and over again like an incantation. To be honest, I barely prayed. It was Jesus, only.

The past few months we’ve all been in this weird movie. Groundhog Day, maybe? Like we are repeating the same thing over and over until we get it right. I loathed it at first. My entire calendar was suddenly empty, so I started crossing out dates, counting down to… what? Freedom? I may as well have put etches in the wall like a prisoner.

I was afraid. Bored. Frustrated. I started feeling like maybe my old friend was coming back.  I had nowhere to turn but to Jesus, and He met me right there and reminded me where He has taken me and what He wants to continue to do.

A funny thing happens when you are forced into your cocoon. You can sit in the dark and mourn the life you once knew. You can miss those days of being a very hungry caterpillar, eating all the pie in sight, so alive crawling on the ground.

Or you can wait. Patiently. Actively. Expectantly. You can dare to face The Truth and see how beautiful The Story really is. And know that we have already been giving the ending.

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”-Richard Bach

But, Spoiler alert! There are so many freaking plot twists. We know that moment will come, when we break out of all we have ever known, but we are not sure when or how.

But we see in our mind’s eye those bright, colorful, brand new wings stretching out towards a blue sky.

We know the darkness will last for a night, but the joy comes in the morning.

And suddenly the unknown is beautiful again.

Suddenly anything is possible.

And it doesn’t matter if our calendars are never full again. It doesn’t matter if we have days where bad things or good things happen. We fly.

There is no more crossing off days, only living that abundant life only He can give. Each day is a gift, and we can believe that with every fiber of our being.

This mystery, this new birth, this Spirit like the wind beckons us out into the morning light, whispering:

“Don’t be afraid. You are mine. It doesn’t matter how dark it seems, how long the wait. How hopeless the other side looks. It doesn’t matter if you have reached your absolute breaking point…. in fact, that is sometimes necessary. You will come to a point when you have to decide if you will choose death or Life. You may have to fight through that final layer. You will feel so, so weak. But I am SO strong. My breathe breathing in your lungs, that life-giving Wind, drying out those new wings….We fly.”

Remember the Story of Humanity

12 Apr

I am the high and mighty religious demanding a sacrifice for all our imperfections

I am the one who walked with him
Who walked on water
Only to tell a crowd I don’t know him
In his time of greatest need

I traded him for a bag of money then couldn’t live with myself

I slammed that whip into his back, tore open his skin with each blow

I pounded the hammer and nail through his flesh

I made his blood flow

I watched him carry it all
And I was too blind to see
As he carried it all
He carried me

He turned His face toward me
In his suffering and simply said
“Remember me”

Two words
Dripping with all the power in the universe

Three more words
That shattered the grip of death and hell,
Propelled humanity’s very existance into a new era:


I heard.
I believed.
It was done.

Darkness celebrated
But dawn had the final say

I died with him that day

But found myself awake, new air breathing in my lungs, new blood flowing within, stretching new limbs towards the sun

New eyes to see, the boulder rolled away

I am the one who walked in trembling
and saw the empty tomb

I ran, breathless, to shout as loud as I could:

(And so am I.)

I am the one who found Him in a garde
He spoke and I knew life like never before

And even when in my weakness I wanted to put my fingers on the holes in his wrists

His eyes shone only with Love

His physical body left
But His spirit came to cover the earth

The same power
The same Love
The same perfection

Resides in all who Remember Him

Remember, the story of all humanity

Remember me
Remember me
Remember me

The Best News

1 Apr

Watching the world fall apart
From my window.
Mostly, the window of my phone
This tiny electronic world
Feeding my brain information.
Feeding my soul fear.

Outside my real window
All is quiet and still.
And in the morning
Birds will calmly announce the arrival of spring.
As the world anxiously awaits
Orders. Results. News.
…Some good news.

I see more than ever how the human heart longs for it.
And we, Carriers of the light, have the BEST news:
That which killed death and disease and fear and darkness.

And yet…
We worry our club is losing members.
That our buildings remain empty.
That we too will succumb to a virus,
Or a broken society
Whichever comes first.

Wake up!
Open your windows, crash through them if necessary!
Walk in the light.
Proclaim healing, peace, freedom.
It is here.
It is within you.

We will go, again.
We will gather, again.
And we will know in every fiber of our being:
That we are whole. That the best is yet to come.

Quarantined Thoughts

17 Mar

There we were: flying through the universe at a million miles an hour. Disconnected. Anxiety-ridden. Swallowing our self-help brand of Christianty, our just-do-one-more-thing-isms. Hustling. Trying to get to that number: grow our businesses, our churches, our income, our views, likes, and followers. Trying to be noticed. To make a difference. To leave something for our kids. Prove something to pur neighbor, parents, pastors. Always competing in the name of doing good. We were so sure of the gods we worshipped. So sure of ourselves and the world we created…


Empty streets.
Empty shelves.
Empty chairs.
Empty stadiums.

We didn’t know it would look like this.
We didn’t know we would be forced to STOP.
Forced to look inside of ourselves.
Forced to question what we are doing.
Why we believe what we believe
What the purpose of this all is.
Forced to live today, only.
Not in the future.
Not in some other place when our business, our ministry, our family, our platform, ourselves are where we want them to be.
Suddenly, we are face-to-face with our own selfishness, our own doubt.

I say, let it happen.
Let it all fall apart, so that eventually, it will all fall into place.
Let all the fear in: the fear of lack, of disease, of complete destruction… and then release it.
Then, give it to the one who made the universe
Who never promised easy days
But who did promise:
One. Day. At. A. Time.

And know what the birds and flowers know:
The manna will be there, today.
The sun will shine, today.
The Peace is available, today.
We will rise, better than before. But not by our own doing. Make no mistake, greater things are happening. He is NOT the author of darkness, but He loves to shine through His kids in the darkest of times. He has already won.

%d bloggers like this: