A Final Lesson on Faith

“Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It has been three weeks since my last blog.” Even though I am not Catholic, that is the confession that runs through my mind daily. The confession is accompanied by feelings of frustration and guilt. I have a few friends that refer to themselves as recovering Catholics. They tell me I would have been a great one since I am naturally hard on myself, feel the need to confess all of my shortcomings to everyone all the time, and feel guilty about just about everything- including the fact that I feel guilty because a “true” Christian should fully understand that there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ. But I digress…

We have had a beautiful fall and I have been able to paddleboard through last week so I thought I would share one final lesson on Faith. I went out one night last week and was surprised to find the waves choppier than I had imagined. It didn’t seem very windy out but the lake was rough. The time seemed to drag on and I wasn’t really enjoying myself. The only reason I kept going was the fact that I knew it could very well be my final ride of the year.

In order to keep myself out there I set the timer on my phone. I had to keep paddling for another 20 minutes before I could turn around and head home. The time dragged on and I kept checking the time every five minutes. Suddenly I hit this calm, smooth as glass area on the lake. I had been on glass like water before but there was something different about this moment. Other times I could see the smooth surface ahead and it was like a goal to reach it. However this time it seemed to appear out of the blue, like a little reward or blessing out of nowhere.
I stopped paddling and just enjoyed the stillness of it all. I was the only one on the lake. The only one floating on this little spot of glass surrounded by rough water. For a moment I felt peace I hadn’t felt in awhile and I didn’t want to leave it.

I think faith is often just like my ride. We find ourselves in rougher water than we expected to be in. The time in this rough water seems to drag on forever and we keep asking ourselves and God when the timer will sound and we can go back home. Then suddenly, out of nowhere we find ourselves on smooth water again. We get our breakthrough, a reprieve, an answered prayer, or simply a feeling of peace we have been longing for. And when we find it, we just want to stay there.

The life of faith doesn’t work like that though. Just as I had to leave the glass and paddle home, we don’t get to stay in that easy place for long. Life has a new set of waves rolling our way. The Good News is, once we experience the peace of still waters, we can carry that peace with us into the waves because we know that at any moment God will deliver us once again and bring us to that place of stillness and rest.

What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely to harbor! Psalm 107:30

If you find yourself in rough waters today, please know that the the Lord will most certainly calm the waters and bring you safely into harbor. He will offer you peace and rest. He will be your refuge and hiding place. Though you may feel like you have been waiting forever, at just the right time, you will be delivered, and you will find a peace you have not experienced before. He will never fail you, forsake you, or leave you. He has not abandoned you and He hears your cries for help. Hold on to his promises and you will find yourself floating on smooth waters of peace!

Love, Grace, and Smooth Waters For You All,


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Leash Walking

My one year old Mastiff Nana tore her ACL this summer and had to have surgery. During her recovery period she must be brought outside on a leash at all times and is not allowed to run or play. We are four and a half weeks into the eight weeks of recovery. Each day is gets harder and harder for us to control Nana on the leash. She is feeling good and wants to run into the woods. The air is so crisp and fresh and the woods have all kinds of animal activity this time of year. She sees the squirrels collecting acorns and wants to chase them. She hears the turkeys and wants to chase them. She sees the family of deer down by the lake and wants to chase them. It doesn’t matter what it is, she simply wants to run.

There are two things we can do to help us all survive this eight weeks. The first thing is to buy a lot of bones and chew toys. Giving her things to chew on help her focus and channel some energy. The other thing we do each day is sedate her with a prescription from the vert. We give her just enough pills to make her lazy and sleepy, but not so much that she is completely out of it. It sounds horrible and I do hate the thought of having to do it each day, but the day we didn’t do it she ran all over the house and showed signs of re-injury. Sedating her appears to be our only option.

Sometimes I feel like my life is in a recovery period. I feel as though I am not free to run and chase after the things that are in my heart. Though I feel like I am strong and ready to run, I sense the leash is still on telling me “not yet”. It feels frustrating and unfair sometimes, and though I don’t understand I simply have to trust that God is still working in me, and preparing me for the things that are to come.

Similar to Nana’s survival plan, I have found there are two things I can do to survive this leash-walk period of my life. The first thing is to meditate, or chew on God’s word. When I meditate on God’s promises I find it easier to focus my energy towards the day set before me rather than worry about what may or may not happen down the road. The other thing I do is my own form of sedation- prayer. It brings me a peace and calm that settles my anxious heart and brings me back to the present rather than dwelling on the past or looking towards the future.

You know, I just realized something. Unlike with Nana, there will never be a day when God suddenly takes me off the leash and tells me to run ahead of him. He will always be my guide and my leader. Maybe that is what I need to embrace more than anything. Maybe instead of feeling as though I am being “restrained”, I need to realize that I am being “lead”. God is not holding me back from my dreams. We are walking slowly and steadily on the path he has set before me. And the best part is, when it is time to run, he will still be there alongside me every step of the way. I will never again be left on my own.

I hope you all got something out of that because I just preached myself happy! I just went from feeling alone and restrained to feeling loved and cared for by a Father that loves us too much to let us simply wander off on our own. God is good, all the time…

Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25:4-5

Love, Grace, and a Leash-Walk Day to You All,


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Get Back in the Game

I entered a writing contest at the last minute Sunday night. It was due at 10pm and I hit send at 9:59. It was the first contest I have entered in exactly three years. Last time I entered I was so hopeful and had this sure feeling that I was going to win. That feeling turned out to be wishful thinking. It was also the last little bit of wind I had left in my sails after a series of disappointing events. After that I no longer dared to dream in regards to my writing, or pretty much anything for that matter.
As I hit send Sunday night a rush of excitement, anticipation, and energy rushed through me. I thought, “This is it. This is really going to happen this time”. It’s not that my story was even that great. It just, I don’t know, felt like maybe all of my stars were finally aligning and this was going to be the big bang that kicked it off. I can’t really put it into words properly.
I found out on Tuesday night that I did not place in the top three for the contest. I was disappointed, but not crushed. I haven’t had the heart to read the top three winning stories yet, but I will. I just need a little time to celebrate the part that truly matters at his moment, which is the fact that I took myself off the bench and got back in the game.
I have felt like I have been living life from the sidelines for a few years now. Sure, I needed to rest and catch my breath. I had to allow some time for my emotional and spiritual injuries to heal. And I needed to study the playbook a little harder. The problem is, the longer I sat on the bench, the more I believed that maybe the Coach was the one that had taken me out of the game, or traded me for a better player. A player that didn’t make so many mistakes, the same mistakes, over and over again. As much as I wanted to play, I felt like the Brett Favre of Christian writing and speaking.
If you are at all familiar with the Bible, you have most likely heard the story of Sarah and Abraham. Abraham was told by God, before he ever had any children, that he would be the father of many nations. In fact, he changed Abraham’s name from Abram to Abraham because the name Abraham literally translates to “father of many nations” in the Hebrew language. For years when Abraham introduced himself he would be saying “I am the father of many nations”, yet when they would ask to meet his family he would have to respond and say “well technically I don’t have any children yet”. I can only imagine how embarrassing that must have been.
I can also imagine how horrible it must have been for Sarah each month as she realized yet another month had gone by and she was not pregnant. Month after month, year after year, she would feel like a failure. I can picture her looking at Abraham and shaking her head no without saying a word. I can picture Abraham hanging his head down wondering if he had misunderstood what God had promised.
Sarah eventually got tired of feeling like a failure and took herself out of the game. Not only did she take herself out of the game, but she also found her replacement. Sarah sat on the sideline and sent her servant Hagar to sleep with Abraham. Seemed like a great idea. Sarah was too old to play and Hagar was still in her prime. Sure enough Hagar became pregnant and gave birth to a son. It didn’t take long for Sarah to regret her decision as she realized she was not meant to sit on the bench- even if her body told her she was too old to play.
God in his mercy honored his word and later blessed Abraham and Sarah with a son of their own. I can imagine how difficult it was for Sarah to get back in the game. I wonder if she got to a point like I did, where it was more miserable to sit on the bench watching others live her dream, than it was to suffer some disappointments and long periods of patient(okay IMpatient) waiting.
When God puts a dream and desire in our heart, he promises to be our Coach for life. He will never bench us. He will never trade us for a new rookie. He will never ever give up on us. If it seems like we have been sidelined we need to trust that he is simply giving us time to rest and catch our breath. And while we are there we should study the Playbook so when its time we can hit the field running.

The LORD kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised Genesis 21:1

Girls, God loves you just as much as he loved Sarah. Trust the promises he has whispered to your heart. Trust that you will always be his star quarterback and you will never be permanently benched. Stand up, take a deep breath, and get back in the game!

Love, Grace, and a Great Day to Get Back in The Game,


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The Mother of All Lists

Yesterday I shared with you the struggle I had been having with The List. It is the list of “should” and “should not’s”, the contestant chatter in my mind, I often torment myself with. Reading yesterday’s blog you may have wondered what The List had to do with our study of women of the Bible.
Let me introduce you to the mother of all lists found in the Bible. Let me introduce you to the Proverbs 31 woman.
The famous, or often in my opinion infamous Proverbs 31 woman sets the standard for all godly woman. It is a list of all she does. Some of her to-do’s include finding and spinning wool and flax, bringing exotic foods from far away places in order to make her family amazing dinners, researching and investing in property- property that she builds a vineyard on in order to generate ongoing revenue, all while being so nice to her husband and kids that they actually arise and call her blessed in the morning. Can you imagine what this woman’s pinterest board would have looked like?
Let me share with you a glimpse of how her list translates in my home. She buys flax because she read it is very healthy for you and has every intention of putting it in her smoothies but she is too rushed in the morning to actually make the smoothie so the flax goes bad. She drives to Trader Joe’s to get a variety of exotic nuts and dried fruit for her family to snack on while she makes one of the five homemade meals in her monthly rotation. She would love to plant a garden but can’t even keep a cactus alive. Her kids arise and ask if she has signed their field trip forms while her husband still sleeps.
When I compare my list to the Proverbs 31 woman list I could easily get discouraged, and for years that is exactly how I felt. I would avoid that chapter in my Bible at all costs and if anyone made reference to her I would tune out so all I could hear was the teachers voice from Charlie Brown.
Then one day I actually had the courage to read the entire list all the way to the end. When I did I noticed something. I noticed that there was one thing that I could do. The best part is I truly believe it is the most important item on the list. I believe that by doing this one thing, we will find strength to do all the others. Maybe they won’t look quite like the woman in the Bible, but they will be the 21st century version of her.
Do you want to know what the most important thing on the list is? It is found in Proverbs 31:30b:

A woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. Proverbs 31:30b

Fear of the LORD simply means to worship him with awe and reverence. It means to acknowledge that he is God and He is awesome, glorious, beautiful, and worthy of our praise.
When we live a life of worship, the list goes from being overwhelming to doable. It also helps us prioritize the list and be happy with our own versions of the Proverbs 31 woman.
I know one of the biggest struggles for women is finding the time to sit at the feet of Jesus and surrender our lists to Him. We love the idea of it but are simply too busy to do it. I encourage you all to take the time each morning or right before bed to surrender your list and thank Jesus for helping you take care of those He has entrusted to you. It will make your life so much more enjoyable. I don’t know why I allow myself to suffer a few days before I take extra time to do it myself, but I hope you learn from my mistakes and try it for yourselves.

Grace, Love, and Another Day to Surrender Your List,


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The List

Another week has gone by and this is the first I have sat down to write. Every morning I say I am going to write when I get home from work. Every night I go to bed frustrated as I struggle to figure out how to fit all the things I want and need to do into each day.
As each day of the week came and went I found myself getting more frustrated and depressed. My mind was constantly racing with The List. You know The List- the list of things we should and should not do.
It sounds something like this: “I should stop at Target on my way home tonight so I don’t have to do it tomorrow. I should have taken out that pound of ground beef so it was thawed for tonight. I should sit down and write tonight. I should not have eaten that. I should work out. I should work out my upper body. I should work out my core. I should work out my lower body. Oh forget it- there are just too many body parts that need work, I can’t do them all so I am not going to bother with any. I should throw in that load of laundry. I should lose ten pounds. I should have worked out at least one stupid body part. I should have prayed more today. I should quite my job. I should be grateful and thankful for my job.”
The List is exhausting and never-ending. It robs me of the ability to enjoy the present and steals my peace for the future. As much as I know the list is bad for me I struggle to stop it. The list makes it impossible for me to just be still. I get so exhausted from the list that I don’t have the energy to even take care of anything on the list. From the minute I wake up in the morning to the minute I lay my head down the list tries to take over my mind.
I’ll be honest with you- I don’t like to admit that I struggle with this. I would much prefer to let you all think I have it all together and I have all the answers. There is a part of me that fears that when I share the struggles I will be disqualified as a woman of God who has anything to offer anyone else.
But I named my website What Real Women Do and you know what- I know I am not the only real woman that is tormented by The List. Sure, your list may look different from mine, but I imagine the impact it has on your ability to enjoy the moment is the same. Maybe if we all come clean and admit we have lists that drive us crazy, we can help each other ditch the lists!
I know God wants us to ditch the lists. Jesus hung on the cross so we would no longer need to live a life of should and should not’s, of lists, rules, and regulations. Jesus ditched the list for us. Now we need to keep our thoughts on Him and off our lists. He will help us put our lists in order. He will show us where we need to put our time, energy, and focus. The thing is- we need to sit still long enough to hear His voice. It cannot be heard above the ramblings of The List.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting (not exhausting) way. Psalm 139: 23-24 NASB version with an added parenthesis by me ☺

Girls, if you are struggling with lists of your own, take some time to be still before God. Write down everything that comes to mind on the list and then tear it up and turn it over to the One that freed us from worry, anxiety, fear, and lists!

Love, Grace, and a Great Day to Ditch the List,


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How He Loves Us

I used to think the story of Adam and Eve was one of the saddest stores in the Bible. I felt so bad for them when they got kicked out of the garden. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to go from walking and talking with God to suddenly being escorted out of the most beautiful, perfect place created just for me.
The worst part was the thought of how mad God must have been at them. After telling them the list of horrible curses that were now attached to them, I always pictured him marching them to the edge of the garden, pushing them along on their way and then watching as they sulked off, crying with their heads down, occasionally looking back to see if he was watching them and possibly changing his mind. When they would look back on him I pictured him standing stone faced with a tear running down his cheek pointing straight ahead commanding them to continue wandering in the opposite direction. It was truly a heart breaking scene.
I see this story differently now. I see it as one of the many love stories in the Bible. Not between Adam and Eve, between God and us. It is a story of redemption, protection, and grace. Let me explain.
When God came looking for Adam and Eve after they had sinned, he found them hiding in the trees, covered with fig leaves. One of the first things they realized when their eyes were opened to sin was that they were naked and for whatever reason their now “knowledgable” mind told them this was wrong and they should cover themselves. God agreed, they should be covered. However he lovingly covered them with animal skins. It was the first of many sacrifices offered in the Bible. It was the first example of the blood of Jesus covering our sin.
As I was studying this I learned that fig leaves, when broken off their tree have a horrible pungent smell, and quickly shrivel up and die which would have left them exposed quickly. It is symbolic of the way man can only hide his sin for so long and then it will be exposed. The only way mans sin is completely covered is by a perfect sacrifice, by the blood of Jesus. i now picture God looking at them in their fig leaves and feeling pity for them. I now picture him sacrificing the animals, placing the skins on Adam and Eve, stepping back and saying “There. That’s better”, as he gives them a Fatherly smile.
If He forgave them and covered their sin, why did he still kick them out of the garden? That too was an act of love. Remember way back in Genesis 2 it tells us that God made all sorts of trees and in the middle of the garden he made two special trees- the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the tree of life. If they would have eaten from the tree of life, they would have to live forever in this fallen state with no chance of redemption. They had already proven themselves untrustworthy by eating from the tree of knowledge, how much more desperate would they be to eat from the tree of life in hopes that they could somehow undo what they have done? The only reason God sent them out of the garden was to protect them from themselves.
I was also wrong about God no longer walking and talking with them. I know this because later in Genesis 4 when God confronts Cain after Cain kills Abel. Cain begs God not to banish him from God’s presence, which means they were all still in Gods presence. This shows us that though God could no longer walk and talk with them in the garden, he still chose to walk and talk with them where they were at.
Girls, I want you to see just how he loves us! Even in our worst moments, even when we are tangled up in sin and shame, God loves us. He lovingly reminds us that we are covered by the blood of Jesus. He never leaves us or forsakes. In the times when it feels like is has walked us to the edge of the garden and pointed for us to go in the opposite direction, is always an act of love. We may not see or feel it, and we may not understand it, but God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and when you find yourself removed from what may have seemed “perfect”, you need to trust that God is protecting you.
Maybe you find yourself identifying with Eve today. Maybe you have been trying to fix and cover up your own feelings of guilt and shame. Maybe you are asking yourself if God has given up on you and set you outside of the garden. If that describes you, please take a moment to sit at the feet of Jesus. Wherever you are at, close your eyes, take a deep breath and simply pour out your heart to God. Tell him your fears, your sin, and your shame. Tell him you want to feel his presence and protection. Let him cover you in his love. He did it for Eve, he will do it for you. In fact, it is his very favorite thing to do!

And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

Love, Grace, and a Day in His Presence For You All,


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Second Hand Words

Last week I left you with a question to meditate on. The question was, What made Eve more susceptible to being deceived than Adam? The question came out of something I noticed for the first time in the story of Adam and Eve, a story I have read and heard many, many, times. Somehow this detail, this very important detail, went unnoticed by me for years.
It says in Genesis 2:15-17 The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden-except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” He is talking only to Adam at this point as he has not yet created Eve.
As you continue to read the story you do not see God speaking directly and giving the same warning to Eve. Yet somehow she has been given the news because when the serpent comes to her and asks her about not being allowed to eat the fruit from the trees in the garden she replies in Genesis 3:2-4 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.”
Did you catch that? The response Eve gave the serpent are not the words God told Adam. She added the words “or even touch it”. We don’t know if it was Adam that added to God’s original message or if Eve added it for dramatic effect but I believe it was Adam who added to the original instructions. Not only did Adam add to the original message God gave him, he also left some of the message out. We know this because judging by Eve’s response to the serpent she clearly had no idea what the significance of the tree was. She referred to it as “the tree in the middle of the garden”.
Why is it a big deal that she didn’t know what the tree was? First of all it gave the serpent the opportunity to sound as though he knew more than her and knew what he was talking about. He was the one that told her it was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It says in Genesis 3:4-5 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”Once he was able to show that he knew more than her, he was able to pervert the truth and promise her she would be like God and would have knowledge she just couldn’t live without.
Eve received God’s Word second hand. And just like when you played telephone as a kid, the end message and the original message did not match. The Word Eve received had parts added (don’t even touch it) as well as parts left out (the kind of tree it was). Since she did not receive the full Truth it opened her up for deception. That deception took her away from Gods plan for her life.
The same goes for us. If we only live by what others tell us about God, we open ourselves up to deception. Of course it is good to go to church, listen to sermons online,and read devotionals- those things strengthen our understanding of God’s word. However, these things do not take the place of us spending our own time with God in his Word. God has specific instructions for each and every one of us. Those instructions cannot be given by another, they need to come from the Lord. The best place to hear from God is by spending time alone with him, one on one, in prayer and in his word.
If we do not know what God’s word says, we will never know when someone is adding to it, or taking away from it. Throughout the ages we have seen the church adding rules and traditions that are nowhere to be found in the Bible. Perhaps if people had access to and read for themselves what Gods word truly says, we would not have all of the man made rules and traditions we see today.
The most common lies we believe are the ones that are perverted scripture- there is just enough truth in it to make it believable. The serpent told Eve she would be like God and possess the knowledge of good and evil which is only partially true. Yes, she would now understand that their is good and evil, but unlike God she would be unable to consistently choose good. Had the serpent told her the whole story she would have told him to slither back under the rock he came from.
Girls, do not relay on others to hear Gods word. Take ownership of your faith by spending time alone with God in prayer and in His Word. Only then will you know how to test what you hear against the Truth. Only then will you be able to guard your heart from deception. Only then will you see the serpents of the world for what they are.

And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life, and in the holy city that are described in this book. Revelation 22:18-19

Love, Grace, and a First Hand Word Day to You All,


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She Was Convinced

We are kicking off our “Women of the Bible” series by taking a look at Eve. The story of Adam and Eve is one of those stories that most people, both Christian and non, are somewhat familiar with. Though many may not understand the truth and relevance of the story, they have heard the basic concept- Adam and Eve naked in a garden, Eve is tempted by serpent, eats apple, and after that they are hiding behind bushes. For those of us who live a life a faith, we know there is so much more.

We know that the world we live in is not the world God desired for us to live in. We know that had it not been for that one act of disobedience, we would be living in perfect harmony not only with each other, but with the animals and the environment. We know that we wouldn’t always be running frantically to and fro trying to fit 36 hours of work into a 24 hour day. And we know that we would not experience pain, loss, suffering, and death.

The Good News is we also know that this is a temporary situation. We know that one day things will be restored and we will experience the world God desired us to live in. We know that we will see the people we miss and that every tear will be wiped away by Jesus himself. And though these truths bring us comfort and peace there are still days when I say “seriously Eve, what were you thinking?”

Think about it. Prior to the fall, Eve was content walking around naked! That alone is a world I cannot even fathom. I don’t even like walking around in a swimsuit or shorts let alone be naked. And I must say I find relief in knowing that we are given white robes of righteousness in heaven because the thought of being naked just may keep me out.

All joking aside, have you ever wondered why Eve did it? Why would the woman who has everything, even the gift of walking and talking to God himself, risk it all? Though it may seem easy to judge and question her, the same is true for many of us today. We buy the same lie that Eve did. We believe there is something more out there and if we have whatever that something is, we will be happier.

We are bombarded with a million “somethings” every day. It says in Genesis 3:6 that “Eve saw that the the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom the serpent told her it would give her.” I don’t know about you but to me it sounds like most of the magazines, commercials, and Facebook posts we take in every day. We are presented with something beautiful and perfect and told if we buy this product we will be beautiful and perfect also and then we will be happy. We are solicited to join a dating site filled with handsome, adventurous men that will listen intently to our hopes and dreams while going to the mall with us and our new lives with these new men will be perfect. We see friends and family going on perfect vacations, buying new perfect cars, and building big perfect houses, and we look around at our stained carpet and old car and decide to bite the financial debt fruit.

It’s easy to see that Eve, like us, bought the lie. She was convinced there was something more. She was convinced that God was holding out on her. She kept looking at the one thing she didn’t have until she finally couldn’t take it any longer and just had to have it no matter what. And once she had it, just like us, she was not only disappointed, but now for the first time experienced shame and guilt.

So the short answer of why Eve ate the fruit is that she bought the lie. What I want to look at next is how she bought the lie. What made her more vulnerable than Adam? I have an answer based on something I noticed for the first time yesterday. You have another day or two to read the chapters and see if you come up with an answer also 🙂

For those of you who may be feeling like you are not enough, especially in your marriage, take today’s verse as a little kiss on the forehead from God

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him” Genesis 2:18

Love, Grace, and No More Lies To You All,


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All About Eve

For the first time in the eighteen years that I have been going to the cabin in Washington I had not one, but two girlfriends come visit. It was so much fun that from now on it is the only way this chick is going to roll 🙂

One night my girlfriend and I were sitting on the bed chatting about different Bible studies and good books to read. We were both setting some personal goals, and we wanted to include a spiritual growth goal. She showed me one of the books she had bought titled Women of the Bible. She hadn’t read it yet so she started looking through it.

The book was divided into chapters discussing different categories of biblical women. For example, women that endured severe hardship, women that made history in a man’s world, etc. She would give me the category and I would try to guess the women listed for each chapter. It was actually really fun. Am I a nerd?

I was surprised by a couple things. First of all there were women that were not listed in areas I thought they should be listed in (does that shock any of you), and I had never even heard of a few of the women. Not knowing who these women were peaked my curiosity. How could I have never heard of them or remembered them?

So I have decided to do my own little “women of the Bible” study. Who better to start with than our girl Eve? You may think you know all there is to know about Eve, but when I read Genesis Chapter 2 and 3 this morning I saw things I had never noticed before. We won’t cover all there is to say about Eve- entire books have been written on Eve. I just want to highlight a few things that stand out to me as I study. I would love it if you wanted to study with me :).

Tonight I simply want to share with you the chapters that discuss Eve so you can have a chance to read for yourself if you choose. Genesis 2:8-4:1 will give you a good context of the things we will discuss over the next few blogs. Please bear with me as I adjust to the new work schedule. I am hoping to post Monday-Friday but it may take me a week or two to get there.

I always want to leave you with a verse and since it is bedtime I will give you one that I say to my kiddos and to myself when my mind is racing at night.

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24

Love, Grace, and a Sweet Sleep Night to You All,


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Walking on Water

We arrived home Friday night from our three week vacation in Washington. After two days and twenty-one hours of driving I looked and felt like a zombie Saturday, but what do you expect when your lunch consists of sugar free Rockstar and sour patch kids? What? It’s not like I can eat a salad while driving…

I return to work tomorrow so for me summer is officially over. I know there are still warm days ahead and I will be able to walk, bike, and paddle for another month (hopefully two). When I say summer is over for me I mean the relaxed, minimal stress, easy going, happy go lucky part of summer. To me, that is the best part of summer (and the tan…everything looks better tan)!

In honor of my last night of summer, I thought I would share one final lesson I learned from Faith (my paddle board). It’s not that there won’t be more stories and life applications from Faith in the future, but starting tomorrow we are switching gears and starting a new series that I am very excited about(please pray God helps me figure out how to fit writing in as I return to work).

Our last night in Washington the lake was smoother than glass and the evening air was perfect. It was the fifth day in a row of 90 degree temps and the evenings were amazing. Add to that the fact that there was a full, or close to full moon. As it comes out it looks so close you would swear you could touch it if you jumped off the diving board high enough. Even though we had a lot of last minute things to do before leaving at 7am the next morning, I simply could not pass up the chance for one last ride.

My first few minutes were so peaceful as I glided along the water. It couldn’t have been a better night. About fifteen minutes into my ride I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of kayaks, pontoons, and speedboats coming out on the lake. It seemed more like a Saturday night than a Wednesday night. The lake is only 450 acres so it is easy to take note of the boat traffic.

I saw a woman sitting at the end of her dock and mentioned that it seemed like a Saturday night on the lake and she said everyone was out to watch the space shuttle launch. Supposedly we were going to see it start from the west and go over the lake. It seemed odd to me but as I looked around the lake I saw a few boats just sitting in the middle and others still coming out so I thought it must be true. I decided to turn around and get the kids so they could see it.

As I made my way back home I heard the sound of a boat that seemed close behind me. Since it was dusk and the full moon was already glowing I was concerned they may not be able to see me. I turned around to see how close the boat was and as I turned my head back towards the front, a small wave rolled in on my left and I almost fell off. The only time I have fallen off my board is when I attempted to do some yoga (which I can hardly even do on dry land). I have never fallen off while paddling.

I was caught off guard by how quickly it all happened. All I did was turn to look to see if I was in danger and the next thing I knew I was wobbling all over on the board. I immediately thought of the story where Peter walks on water (not that my story was anywhere near as cool as his). One minute he is walking confidently towards Jesus and the next minute he hears the rolls of thunder, and sees the raging waves and bloop, he starts to sink.

As I head into a new school year I purpose to keep my eyes on Jesus and not get distracted or fearful by the thunder rolls and storms of life. I know I have a busy schedule, but so does every other woman I know. Somehow when it is all said and done, our kids make it to school (most days), have food to eat (thank God for $5 pizza), and all the things that truly need to get done gets done. FYI- the dusting NEVER truly needs to get done 🙂

The sun has officially set tonight. My summer is officially over. It’s okay though because tomorrow begins the year of walking on water. No more anxious thoughts about how to get it all done. No more frozen in indecisiveness moments of fear. No more insecurity. No more less than God’s best!

Jesus is calling each and every one of us to get out of our boats and walk on the water towards him. I’m getting out of mine. Anyone care to come with me?

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” said Jesus.-Matthew 14:12

It’s not that there won’t be days that like Peter, we take our eyes off of Jesus and begin to sink in the struggles of life. It will happen. The awesome part is the fact that Jesus will still be there offering his hand to pull us up. Don’t be afraid of failing. Technically Peter failed. However, the story is not referred to as “the time Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and sunk into the sea”. No. It is referred to as the time Peter walked on water.

I would like to be remembered like that.

Love, Grace, and a Walking on Water Day to You All,


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