Growing in Selflessness

At my church, we have a weekly puppet show put on by the youth for the younger kids. The skits are cute and funny, with a Biblical message. Part of one week’s skit has been bouncing around in my head lately. In it, a boy and girl are having a discussion about spiritual gifts that goes something (sort of–this is from memory!) like this:

“I just don’t know if I have a spiritual gift,” sighs Willie, the boy puppet.

“Don’t be silly,” the girl puppet, Betsy, replies. “Everyone has a spiritual gift. As a matter of fact, I have three,” she adds rather proudly.

“I don’t suppose one of those gifts is humility,” Willie says sarcastically, to which he receives the following surprised response:

“Why, yes! How did you know?”

Right on cue, everyone in the room laughs. Holding my puppet in the air, I cringe inwardly. I may just be playing the role of Betsy for a few minutes, but in that moment I think we had quite a bit in common.

Growing up, I always considered myself to be rather selfless. In fact, I was rather proud of it (I know, I know). The truth, however, was that I didn’t think of others quite as much as I thought I did. A couple years would go by and I would look back on my life, thinking, “Wow, I can’t believe how self-centered I used to be! I’m so glad I’m not like that now.”


Eventually–that is, in this past year–it occurred to me that this was an ongoing cycle. I would never be as selfless as I thought I was, and there would always come a day when I realized just how self-centered I had really been at any given time.

I also realized that this was okay.

Here’s the thing–am I a rather self-centered person? Yes! (Aren’t we all?) But the beauty of it is that I’m not as self-centered as I was last year or six years ago, and I (hopefully!) will be more selfless next year and in the time to follow.

GrassWe as humans are not unchanging. And we as Christians are continually changing to be more like our Savior. We grow. We blossom in love, purity, joy, understanding, and selflessness.

We cannot fall into the trap of becoming proud of the person that Christ has made us, a person who is in fact still changing, still growing! Nor should we become consumed with guilt over what we may have done in the past. I’m definitely prone to wallowing in my mistakes, but we should rejoice knowing that Christ has made us new, and that He is transforming us into His image.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!   (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)

Rejoice! We are new creations, becoming more like Christ with every step we take in our walk with Him. And I know that one day I can look back and see, yes, a rather self-centered young woman–but also one who is striving to become more like Him with every breath.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2, NLT)


Wrap your arms around the pain…


This was exactly what I needed to hear today. I’m sharing it with the hope that it will continue to bless others as well!

Originally posted on It's a God thing...:

What’s your brand of pain?

I’m encouraged tonight by these words by Rick McKinley on the Storyline site…

“When we stand in our pain, wrap our arms around it, accept life on life’s terms, we learn we are not alone. There is another set of arms around us, the pain, the situation, this moment. Then the fear dissipates and gives way to hope, and love and faith. That there is The One who has gone through pain to bring life, and He holds us in our pain to create a new place within us, for his life to grow.”


Whatever our struggle, let’s remember that Jesus pushed through incredible pain and came out the other side – rose from death to life – for us.

He knows – deeply – both pain and triumph. And we shall know it too. You might not see the ‘answer’ – or the…

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Beautiful Creations

Brace yourself; I think of strange analogies sometimes!

I recently got my hair cut. I didn’t want to at first (I loved having long hair), but having a new haircut is always thrilling–for me at least–and I got caught up in the excitement.

Today, for fun, I Googled new hairstyles I could try. My French braid turned out rather horribly, so I improvised and ended up with this:

Pardon the odd angle, taking a photo of the back of my head with a tablet was not easy!

Pardon the odd angle, taking a photo of the back of my head with a tablet was not easy!

You may think me silly, especially those of you more experienced with this sort of thing, but I was so excited! There’s something about creating anything with your own two hands and having it turn out right! I mean, it’s not perfect, but I love it!

Here’s where the analogy comes in. As I was thinking about all of this, something occurred to me. I’m a creation too.

I think we can all recognize that feeling of pride, of accomplishment when we create something. It’s the work of our hands; it’s a joy! But have we ever stopped to attribute those feelings to God? To think that He also feels that way when He looks at us?

We are His creation. We live in a beautiful world, though fallen, in which every detail was carefully crafted by Him. He lovingly designed every part of us, from our cells to our soul.

Have we sinned? Yes. Do we fall short of His glory? Yes. But thank the Lord, He loved us, His creation, enough to die for us. To save us from our sins, to pay the price for our transgressions! And because of that, we, His beloved creation, have the opportunity to come into His presence, to fall into the loving embrace of our maker.

And yes, all of this came from a braid. He works in mysterious ways! But I would like to leave you with this: Whoever you are, whatever you’ve done, God loves you. He knew you before you were born. If He didn’t care about you, He could have let you continue on the path we had all chosen, the path we chose in Eden. But He didn’t. God gave His Son that you, His beloved and beautiful creation, may have life everlasting.

Never forget that.

He Remains


My health may fail.

I would say that most people worry about their health. How can we not? To lose one’s health is an inevitable and painful truth of life. We fear it; and many of us struggle with the realities of it every day.

Psalms is a very poetic book, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t speak the truth of what happens in our lives. In fact, it does so very often, and I see the beginning of this verse as a striking example.

“Health,” the psalmist says. “It doesn’t last.”

My spirit may grow weak.

Then he moves beyond the physical. Those five words strike a chord with me. This could mean a lot of things, but ultimately, who hasn’t felt weak in spirit? Perhaps this reminds you of those days when the thought of tomorrow is overwhelming. Maybe it brings to mind struggle against temptation, and the feeling that you aren’t strong enough to fight it. We know what it means to be weak in spirit, and the psalmist knows it too.

Our health may fail. Our spirits may grow weak. When we can no longer rely on these things, what can we turn to?

But God remains the strength of my heart.

We can’t rely on ourselves; the psalmist has laid that out for us. But when everything else fails us, God is still there. He is our strength! To trust in our own strength is folly, but to trust in God’s is hope and life! There are painful realities in this life, but this statement is just as real as any of them. No matter what comes our way, if we are a child of God, we face nothing alone.

Our God is strong. Stronger than our fears. Stronger than our pain. Whatever troubles you face, God is bigger than any of them. And through it all, He remains.

He is mine forever.

Maybe you’re wondering what the point of this was. After all, you already got to read the entire verse at the beginning! I think that too often, though, we rush through the Bible. We forget to slow down and take time to absorb what it has to say.

This particular verse, once I took the time to slow down, truly spoke to my heart. We face things, the verse says. Hard things. But God is with us every step of the way. He never leaves us; He remains our strength, our hope, our Father.

And He is ours and we are His, forever.

Five Years of Blogging

Five incredible years. Here and gone, so quickly.

keyboardWhen I first started blogging, I wasn’t thinking much about the future. I was feeling inspired, I’d written a handful of articles, and I wanted to share them. Just like that, my first blog was born.

Last year, I was definitely thinking about the future! My view count grew steadily each year, and I had high hopes for 2015. Little did I know what was to come.

I am ashamed to say that I have published an underwhelming seven articles so far this year. I know that no one’s keeping track, but this blog is very important to me. To think that I have let something so important to me get so little of time is unpleasant, to say the least.

This year has been a weird one for me. I may not have put much work into the blog, but I know that God has been working in my life. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it.

So, in the past year, I’ve written quite a few articles on how I was sorry I hadn’t been writing and I would pick it back up. Well, I was certainly sorry, but apparently I never followed through on getting back to writing. I hope this year is different. This blog is a blessing, and you, my dear reader, are a blessing, one I’m not willing to neglect any longer.

So… until next time!


He Is With Us

God is with us in our darkest nights, in our deepest pain, in our most hopeless situations.

He will never leave us nor forsake us.

When our circumstances threaten to crush us, He is there, bearing the weight.

As a flood of emotion threatens to pull us away, He takes hold of our hand.

In the darkest night, there is still light...

In the darkest night, there is still light…

In life, happiness is fleeting, but true joy comes from the Father. And it is a joy that can outlast anything we may go through.

This post started out very differently. I’ve been experiencing a lot of pain, anger, and sorrow lately. It would be so easy to get on here and just complain, but as I sat down to write, I knew I couldn’t do that.

So what to write? I went back to the basics. These are things that I know to be true, and they were truths that I needed to hear. Maybe you needed to hear them too.

Life is rarely easy, but we do not face it alone. It isn’t difficult to get lost in our problems and to forget that God is with us. The storm may be fearsome, but He is greater, and He is pulling you through.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

God bless you all!


Follow Me, a poem

Mountain trail

Follow Me, I’ll be your Guide

Through valley floors and mountainsides.

When life is up, I’m there, you know,

But when things are down, you’re still not alone.

Life will pull you left and right,

Leave you wounded, but deep inside

I’ll heal your wounds and mend your scars

And leave you stronger after all.

And when the path is hard to see,

Just hold my hand and follow Me.

You might stumble and you might fall,

But I’ll lift you up, and you’ll stand tall.

When you’re weary and can’t decide

Which path to take–which one is right?

I’ll light your path, if you take heed.

Just listen well and follow Me.

If you stay close by my side,

I will not promise an easy ride.

Instead, a path to better things,

And to the joy that I will bring.

While on the journey you will not see

What is to come and what will be.

But when you reach the other side,

You’ll see all that I had in mind.

 So if you’re willing to trust my plan,

To finish the story that I began,

Take the plunge, be all you can be,

Take my hand, and follow Me.