• Brave,  Faith,  Trusting God,  Unexpected Series

    Unexpected Gifts of Pain and Suffering

    By Jennifer Roland “Which leg has the most pain?” the clinician asked. “The right,” I told her. “We’ll be taking five skin samples from that leg, then. Two above the ankle, two above the knee, and one below the hip.” “Five?! I thought it was just one from my ankle.” “This allows for a more accurate diagnosis,” she explained. “It will also tell us if the neuropathy is length-dependent.” On the exam table, each biopsy site was cleaned and anaesthetized. A circular punch tool was pressed into my skin to remove five cylindrical samples, each 4-5 mm deep, to send to the lab for analysis. At the end of the…

  • Faith,  Purpose,  Trust the Process,  Trusting God

    Why We Must Spring Forward and Never Fall Back

    Here in the United States, we recently changed our clocks by “springing forward an hour”, giving us more daylight in the evening hours. I love this time of year and really enjoy the vibrancy this change brings. I learned today there is a bill in the Senate, called the Sunshine Protection Act, that advocates for keeping this time change permanent, meaning we would not “fall back” in November. I have been wanting this for years and I really hope it passes.  In addition to the time change, this weekend also marked the one year anniversary of when our country shut down in response to the COVID pandemic. After the year…

  • Brave,  Purpose,  Valentine's Day

    A Galentine’s Celebration

    On a routine trip to the store last week, I heard the words. “I don’t want to be alone on Valentine’s Day.” They were not my words but, even more startling, that of a young lady who appeared to be in her late teens. She was walking by the Valentines display as I heard her explaining to her friend how she did not really want to accept the offer for a dinner date from a young man because she really wasn’t interested but she was likely going to say yes because she didn’t want to spend Valentine’s Day alone. Her friend verbally confirmed that yes, spending Valentine’s Day alone would…

  • Brave,  Faith,  Purpose,  Surrender,  Trust the Process,  Trusting God,  Unexpected Series

    God’s Tender Healing in Unexpected Brokenness

    Recently, I’ve been watching birds more, taking notice of their movement patterns. Some days, it’s the cardinal who stops long enough to garner my attention, or the geese flying in a V-shaped pattern overhead. God created them with a purpose and instinct for survival. Maybe we are more like birds than we think? I’ve often thought of marriage as an eagle with the husband and the wife each serving as a wing to one body. When both wings work together, they serve to elevate the body and propel the eagle in an upward direction. This allows the eagle to soar and beautifully glide, allowing all who see it to marvel…

  • Christmas,  Faith

    Different Christmas, Same God

    By Becky Shields When you think back on Christmas’ past, what is it that you remember most? Is it the gifts that you received? The money that you spent? The meals that you ate? Do you remember exactly what you bought each person on your list, or how long it took you to decorate your house? Or do your memories center on something different? If you’re anything like me, other than a very few extra special gifts, you probably can’t recall very many of the material things that you received for Christmas over the years. My fondest Christmas memories revolve around family…. spending time with the people that I loved…

  • Patience,  Purpose,  Surrender,  Trust the Process

    Sweet Refinement

    My oldest daughter loves to bake and her latest artistic endeavor has been cake decorating. I’m not much of a baker with the exception of special events or holidays so we don’t often have a surplus of ingredients in our pantry. Not long ago, my daughter baked a cake and as she was preparing the frosting, realized we were out of powdered sugar. I offered her a jar of pre-made frosting but that was not going to work for her creation. She had specific plans for this cake and wanted it made to her specifications. A few moments later, I heard a different sound from the kitchen. My daughter proudly…

  • Unexpected Series

    Finding Unexpected Purpose

    In 2006, I graduated from physical therapy school. I was so excited to begin working as a physical therapist. My first official position was at a small clinic with only two other part-time therapists. Those first two years were about gaining experience while I was still learning how to most effectively manage my time with patients. Although I enjoyed that first job, it was clear when it was time to move on. My daughter was an infant and I was working several late evenings per week. She was in daycare all day, then often be asleep for the night by the time I got home. It was time to do…

  • Unexpected Series

    Update Your Faith to Navigate the Unexpected

    Many have heard the Biblical stories of Jesus’ healing. He healed people on the spot of various ailments including leprosy and paralysis, released demons, and even revived a few from death. However, do we believe God can still do this today? The Bible tells us Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). In fact, this verse holds these identical words in every translation I’ve ever looked at. I don’t think we can see this as anything other than what it is: truth. We know the Bible stories, we watch the Christian movies, we even pray for healing. BUT, do we BELIEVE he still does this in…

  • Uncategorized

    What It Means to Wear the Crown

    Straighten Your Crown’s title was given to me several years ago when I found myself in a pit of intense grief and disappointment. I knew I needed to put one foot in front of the other but I couldn’t figure out how to even stand up. I cried out to God and He reminded me who I belonged to and as a result, who I truly was. What I initially thought was defeat at the hand of our enemy was actually the starting line of a whole new journey. God let me know He was the author of my story and it didn’t end in that pit of despair. In…

  • Unexpected Series

    Our Eyes Are On You, Lord

    Are you in a situation where you just don’t know what to do? Maybe there are multiple directions you could take but you know none of them will lead to your desired destination and all of them contain terrain that looks impossible to navigate. In that case, we obviously look for the shortest path or the one with the least amount of risk. But what if that is NOT the path God calls us to take? What if there is quite simply, no easy way out? These unexpected situations in life seem like they will break us. No matter which path we choose, a dream ends, a relationship gets left…

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