Be Bold

Jewel ZymurgyFaith, TrialsLeave a Comment

In the big scheme of things—it was a day in the life of a child of the King; a day filled with joy and ending with a peaceful reflection that was filled with gratitude.   Many days I fail to live in the fullness of my birthright. Instead of living day by day and moment by moment remembering who I am and whose I am—I fall into the trappings of my own flesh and focus on the shortcomings and failures that put me in the center of my thinking…making it impossible for me to keep my mind and heart on the workings of my Father, God.   As God made me more aware of this theme, it became a source of uneasiness and shame for me because I was keenly aware that in this area I was constantly getting in my own way. Not really knowing what to do to change this—I started seeking out those people who in my eyes had always been spiritual giants. Not really having an expectation of what the journey or goal looked like—just seeking to look more like Jesus by placing those people around me that looked like Him in my own life.   … Read More

Seeing A Bigger Picture

Jewel ZymurgyMotherhood, TrialsLeave a Comment

I feel like I need to bring you through a snapshot of the last few days in order to get the bigger picture of my insights and ponderings. Friday was an early day for me. I go into work super early so every other week I can attend a women’s missional community that the pastor’s wife leads at the church I go to (and love with all my heart). When the time came to go to the women’s group, I was eager to head to worship and learn and be around other women who love Jesus immensely…a beautiful interruption during my work day! It was all that I hoped for and more as we had fellowship over breakfast (though for me it was lunch! Lol!), sang songs to a loving God and got to look at one way that the woman who leads the group moves through scripture. It was wonderful as it drew me to God’s Word and moved me to a place of looking forward with excitement and anticipation to the next time I got to spend with Him in it. It makes me laugh as I write those words because the love and hope-filled expectation of what … Read More

What My Husband Has Taught Me About A Father’s Love

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage, TrialsLeave a Comment

I love you, far more than I have ever loved anyone in all my life, and even after all these years, there are times that still terrifies me.  You know me better than I know myself.  You care for me more passionately than anyone ever has.  You put me first in every part of your existence, but there’s still that little place inside of me; way deep down in the ugliest and most insecure parts of my heart, that’s afraid someday I won’t be enough for you. I’m afraid that I’m just one mistake away from ruining everything. I’m afraid that someday you’ll leave me too, because at some point along the way everyone else has.   If I was a better daughter, maybe my dad would have stayed. Maybe if my grades were better, he would follow though with his promises. Maybe if I was more gifted he would have reasons to show up for the things that were important to me. Maybe if I was more obedient he would have been proud of the way I turned out, and decided that he did want to be a part of my life after all. But I wasn’t, and he left, … Read More

A Glimpse of the 27th Psalm

Jewel ZymurgyFaith, Trials3 Comments

Ask-God I know that you are already here. I just ask you to help me be sensitive to your presence. Help me to slow down and focus on what you have for me…and God…help me to be open and accept it with your loving perspective as I unpack Your truth. Read-I was beautifully surprised to see that the scripture verses included one verse that I had years ago tattooed on my back. With eagerness I opened up to the verses that my friend had sent me. Psalm 27:9-10 “9-Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. 10-Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” Reflect-Initially what grabs my attention is that the psalmists words in verse 9 feels like a pleading—when I have felt desperate and lonely the angst in those words have felt tangible. I can’t help but recall vividly the pain of someone whom I dearly wanted to be close to…turning away from me in their own disappointment and frustration. The empty isolation that enveloped me was greater than I was ready … Read More

I see your pain

Rosalynn LasleyRedemption, TrialsLeave a Comment

I was only 6 years old at the time but the memory is just as fresh, as if it happened yesterday. I was a little girl in your class with big glasses and wiggly teeth, when I saw you for the last time.  I never even got to say goodbye.  I remember you running out of the school building, as I stood there waiting for my bus. A fellow teacher was trying their best to comfort you. They had their arms wrapped tightly around your shoulder, as they ushered you to the parking lot. Your face was buried in your hands as you sobbed uncontrollably. You never looked up. You never returned to school, and I don’t mean just that year, I mean ever. You never came back.  But how could you?  Your baby died.  My mom told me what happened, as gently as you tell a 6 year old girl, and we went to the store to pick out a small glass figurine of a little boy. My mom thought it might remind you of him. I don’t remember his name.  I wish I did. I spent all night last night trying to remember, but all I could remember is that … Read More

His Arms

Jewel ZymurgyFaith, Motherhood, TrialsLeave a Comment

Words. I love words. I love the impact of them. The beauty of them—the way they can express and build and create and honor… So, I was taken by surprise today, not by convicting words that pointed to wisdom and truth… But by the invitation of open arms and a hug that accepted me right where I was—hurting and afraid. There isn’t a time that I get to attend a Beauty For Ashes Conference when my heart isn’t rendered wrecked at the truth of the brokenness that is a part of past hurts, both mine and those I journey with during the week, and this time is no exception. Though this day, I was brought to tears at being made profoundly aware of the painful gulf between the things that I truly experienced…and the heartbreak of knowing that it was so utterly different than the way I wish it would have been… I was tired. I hadn’t slept well the night prior. It was late when I laid down to sleep and even then, I woke several times in the night to a lingering nightmarish thought that someone had entered into my living space by invitation of my daughter. I … Read More

Why Bother

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, TrialsLeave a Comment

I’ve had a bit of a bad attitude lately. It’s hard to admit that, but it’s true. I’ve felt defeated, discouraged, and simply like “why do I even bother?!” (I’ve even said that outloud.) I’ve attempted kindness and grace only to have it discarded. I’ve attempted courtesy and just had it overlooked. I’ve attempted to try harder, do more than what was asked if me, but it was only to have my efforts completely dismissed. It’s hard to have a good attitude when that happens. Have you felt that way lately? Have you felt like you’re doing the best you can, really giving it all you have and either no one notices, no one cares, or it doesn’t change the circumstances one bit? Do you have the “why bother” attitude like me? While in the midst of my pity party and bad attitude, God reminded me of why I need to bother, and why I need to do my best to have a good attitude while doing it. But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take … Read More

The Importance Of Sharing Your Story

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Trials, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

I chose a seat at the front of the room, instead of the podium that was set in place for me.  I had known about this day, months in advance, but being the center of attention makes me uncomfortable no matter the circumstances.  I chose to sit instead of stand in the presence of my peers, because it made me feel like one of the ladies, rather than the focus of the day.  Immediately upon arriving, I requested the glider rocker that was placed in the back of the room. My request was denied because although I was their guest speaker, apparently I’m not THAT important.  The rocker was reserved for nursing mothers, and nursing mother I am not.  I decided that in lieu of nursing a baby that wasn’t mine, or standing at a podium that made me feel more important than I actually am (not important enough for the comfy chair, nor important enough for the podium) I settled on the uncomfortable folding chair. That dinky chair seemed more appropriate, and less uncomfortable that the other two options.  That chair ended up being my “just right” bowl of porridge (although I actually prefer cereal.)   I grabbed a tissue from the brand new box I had placed at my … Read More

When Jesus Finally Made Sense To Me

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Motherhood, Trials1 Comment

Months of planning had gone into one little camping trip with friends.  It seems so silly to plan months in advance to sleep outside on the dirt, but Alaskan summers are something we long for, and time off from work is much desired during the season where the sun doesn’t set.  If you want to take a day off in the summer time, you must ask long ahead of time, otherwise you’ll blink and it will be dark and snowy again.  A two hour drive, deep into the woods was on our agenda, and I looked forward to nothing more than a raging bonfire, and s’mores shared with some of the best people I have ever know. There’s just something about quality time spent with incredible people around a fire, that renews my soul.   It was the weekend before our big camping trip when I started to miscarry. Suddenly this trip we had planned so far ahead of time, seemed a little less ideal for me.  I didn’t want to deal with that out in the middle of the woods. I didn’t want to be a mess physically or emotionally in front of anyone. I didn’t want to be away from home.  My home is my … Read More

Weary

Rosalynn LasleyMotherhood, Prayer & Fasting, TrialsLeave a Comment

I’ve found myself a bit discouraged lately. Physically I’ve not been able to keep up with all that I’d like to. My house is decorated with baskets of laundry as far as the eye can see, there are half-finished projects everywhere, and yet I find myself on the couch or in bed early in the evening because my body just can’t keep up.  On top of that, the kids were sick last week (so I missed work during our busy season) and now I’m sick from taking care of them. This means more missed work, more to catch up on, and I’m weary. It’s discouraging when you can’t do it all. I’ve battled this discouragement for close to a year now. I had my accident at the end of December and that left me physically unable to do all that I wanted and needed to do. That left me relying on others to help with daily tasks (thank the Lord they were willing) and sometimes the battle of my physical capabilities and what I’d like to do leaves me discouraged. Now I’m at the tail end of my pregnancy and as much as I’m trying to push through the aches … Read More

This is really hard!

Rosalynn LasleyTrialsLeave a Comment

As we rounded the corner on that quiet little street downtown, my heart started to beat out of my chest, and I thought I might be sick. I’ve only been to a funeral twice before, but never like this, this was different. This one hurt the most of them all. I didn’t know what to think, how to feel, what to say. I wanted to be strong and brave, I wanted to smile and comfort others, but I truly didn’t know if I had it in me. That day we were going to honor my grandfathers life, now that all we have left are our memories of what life was like with him.   I took a few deep breaths, said a quick prayer, and put some gum in my mouth to try to calm my stomach. Then I slowly got out of the car and made my way into the funeral home. Time went a million miles a minute and in slow motion all at the same time. Grief is strange like that sometimes. As I walked inside, holding tightly to my husband’s arm, I scanned the quiet crowd of familiar faces. Of all of the people that were there, … Read More

Gear Up: PEACE

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & Fasting, TrialsLeave a Comment

When our oldest was about three or four, she had a favorite tune she liked to sing. We all recognized the tune, but the words she sang made no sense. We could not figure out what she meant by “hap-py shoes, hap-py shoes”. Why were her shoes happy? Were they going to the park? It turned out that she had misunderstood the words of an old children’s song that I sang to her. It goes, “Have patience, have patience. Don’t be in such a hurry. When you get impatient, you only start to worry.” Since patience was a big word for someone her size, she equated it to something she knew…shoes. Happy shoes, at that. Honestly, I feel that way about our next piece of armor. I have struggled to grasp what is meant by the “gospel of peace”, and so I have filled in my imagination with some strange meanings. Huh? Maybe I am the only one who struggles with this, but just in case, let’s break it down like we broke down “Have Patience” for our little girl. Shoes make us ready. When our oldest was curious, into-everything toddler, I started following the advice of the Fly Lady, … Read More

Moments I Can’t Protect Her From

Jewel ZymurgyFaith, Motherhood, TrialsLeave a Comment

As a mother…and a single mother…I have done many things wrong, thinking at times that I had to make decisions on my own. I have reacted emotionally and irrationally instead of taking my intense emotions to God and/or a trusted and healthy, caring friend. However, my heart to lovingly protect my daughter is something I don’t think I will ever need to apologize for. Despite knowing my own inner thoughts and motivations, I found myself having conversations with her that would give her knowledge about and maybe a desire to protect herself from one of my greatest fears as a mother. I look back and see that my anxiety was so great that I lost focus of my original intent to have conversation with her and instead found myself talking at her without any room for her to communicate with me. I let my worry over what may happen in the future take over. And then it happened… That thing I fought so desperately to protect her from… She tried to hide the truth of what happened though was relieved when I found out. Until then she was alone in her thoughts and feelings. Wrestling with lies and emotional muchness … Read More

When You’ve Fallen Out Of Love

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage, Redemption, TrialsLeave a Comment

No one ever plans to fall out of love. It’s just one of those things that happen gradually, over the course of time. Maybe you stop putting in the effort you used to, or have been hurt along the way, and by the time you realize that things have changed it, it seems impossible to get things back to the way they used to be. Realizing you’ve fallen out of love can be a painful, and sobering realization, but it’s not to late to turn things around.   When love is new, you don’t care who’s watching your interactions. Your admiration for one another is obvious to everyone around you. The sound of your loved ones name, is on your lips as often as you exhale, and spending time together is something you just can’t do often enough. Every waking moment, of every single day, doesn’t feel like enough time with one another, and late nights followed by early mornings become a part of your new routine. Every midday yawn is worth being with the one you love.   When you’re newly in love, you willingly and eagerly go out of your way to show you care for each other. … Read More

Through it All 

Beau HagertyFaith, Redemption, Trials1 Comment

As I have mentioned before in a previous blog post, I grew up in the church. My parents were pastors, I was leading worship by the time I was 15, I attended every district event in my denomination, I was the perfect poster child for an “on fire for God” PK. But it didn’t mean a thing to me. There’s something about hearing the same thing over and over again that makes it lose its meaning. For me that was the gospel and the love of God. I knew all of the text book answers of how a relationship with God was supposed to look, but it didn’t mean anything. And growing up a pastors kid is difficult. Not to say that people who didn’t have that upbringing had it easy but there is a distinct difference. For some reason church members have a tendency to feel entitled to spectate the lives of their pastor’s children. And I have endured more scrutiny than I wish to recount on. I always sort of felt like I was living inside a glass box on display for everyone to see. Whether it be my haircut or my outfit or the types of movies … Read More

But if not…

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, TrialsLeave a Comment

This topic has been on my heart since I was very first asked to contribute to this blog, but each week God has said “not yet.” I’ve sat down over and over again thinking I was going to write about this, but have ended up in another direction instead. This post may be too deep to cover all of the thoughts I’ve had all at once, but stick with me, I feel God really has a lot to say. There have been many Bible stories, especially Old Testament ones that I’ve heard over the years that I have sort of shrugged off. They are “good stories” examples of trials, faith, perseverance, promise, but there are many times I’ve thought “that’s great and all, but how is that relevant to me?” One of those stories comes from the book of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the … Read More

Are You Caught in the Comparison Trap?

Jen CudmoreTrialsLeave a Comment

Comparison Trap

Do you measure up? The best advice I received at my bridal shower many years ago came from one of the pastors’ wives. She told me “Never ever compare yourself to other women.” The comparison trap is a snare all women must watch out for. We tempted way too often to worry if we’re a good mom, wife, employee, blogger, Sunday School teacher.  Are we thin enough, fit enough, strong enough? Trendy and fashionable? Wise and knowledgeable? Skilled with hobbies like decorating, photography, crafting, scrapbooking? Got the right amount of wealth and education? And we measure ourselves against other women to see if we meet “the standard.” It’s not always directly related to us, but also our homes, families, possessions, and jobs. Are our children as smart or athletic enough? Is our husband high enough on the corporate ladder, or even the spiritual ladder? Should we be pursuing a better job, like the business women who recently became a CEO of a large firm? Or should we be a stay-at-home mom like the other ladies at church? Should we purchase expensive furniture and décor for our run-down trailer or stay within our means and stick with Wal-Mart? I wasted too many years wondering if I … Read More

Is Jesus REALLY Enough?

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & Fasting, Trials2 Comments

We sing at the top of our lungs. We raise our hands in worship, proclaiming the greatness of our God. We join with hundreds of others in worship of Jesus, the One who died and rose again to pay our sin-debt. Yet we are a bunch of hypocrites. We proclaim the wonders of our Savior on Sunday morning and then fret about the greatness of our problems the rest of the week. Five minutes after we sing that there is no stronger power than Jesus, we revert to worry about how we are going to meet the pressures of the coming week. Hold on. It’s time we get that emotional worship experience to sink deeper. We must let those words of praise and faith penetrate our minds and hearts, too. They must change our way of thinking, so that we no longer wallow in doubt, fear, and defeat. Recently, a friend encouraged several of us bloggers to remember the omnipotent power of Jesus’ name. She had us look up John 14:12-14… I have read these verses many times over the last several months. They really became alive for me when I went through Kim Erickson’s His Last Words twice during … Read More

I think I tripped you…

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, TrialsLeave a Comment

There’s a really good chance we’ve all done it. Sometimes we’ve done it on purpose, sometimes we’ve done it without knowing, but there’s a really good chance we’ve all done it. There’s a chance it happens more often these days, than it ever has before. There’s a chance I’ve done it to you. There’s a chance you’ve done it to me. And can I just say, I’m really sorry for it?! I might have done it to you when I talked about how amazing my husband is, or when I talked about the baby sleeping through the night. I might have done it to you when I talked about being able to bring the baby to work with me, or when I posted about my children’s grades. I might have done it to you when I posted about what we’re having for dinner, or when I shared pictures from vacations we’ve had. I might have done it when I posted projects I’ve completed, or pictures of my home. I might have done it when I posted pictures of my post baby figure, or when I shared publicly that I was pregnant. I might have done it when I posted about where … Read More