Select Page

One more chapter…

Thirty Two weeks… Twenty Two hours of labor… Colton Thomas made his appearance. 5 Pounds 3 ounces 17 inches long. I remember the long night awaiting his arrival. Praying that the steroids that they gave me would be enough to help his little lungs. Hours after he arrived, the doctors and nurses found themselves working with a baby that was dying. 6 times he coded, 6 times they shocked his little heart. Finally stabilize enough to transport to the Children’s Mercy Hospital. The Doctor following the ambulance because he was sure by the time they arrived the baby would be gone…

Days turned into weeks as little Colton lay lifeless on life support. The NICU has labeled little white boys as “wimpy white males” they have the lowest survival rate of any preemies. There were days we just didn’t know if he would ever wake up. I remember vividly one day standing over his bed with my hand beside his and crying out to God to heal my baby. Tears ran down my face and one by one they would hit his naked little back. He didn’t even flinch. In that moment I remember asking the Lord for his will to be done in Colton’s life. If  it  was his will that he live that he would… and if it wasn’t that he would hold me. I prayed life into him and ask God to grow him up into a Man of God that would change the world someday.

Colton a few days later decided he would wake up and fight. His little body begin to grow and heal. And within a couple of months he would join us as home.

Here we are 18 years later, preparing to send him away to college. I thought by the third one it got easier. That somehow your heart is prepared for the fact that your precious littles are grown and ready to fly, all the while you pray they remember their roots. 3 children in 3 years.  Colton is preparing to join his siblings at IWU next year… and I am preparing for a few more tears and a lot more praying.

Chapters are being written so fast it seems that we don’t always get time to enjoy the story. I can’t go back and hold him but I can hold on to the many memories I have. I can look forward to see what God will continue to do in his life. I believe that God did save Colton for a purpose. And today my prayer is that he finds it and walks boldly in it. To say I am going to miss him, is an understatement. His laugh, his sense of humor and his hugs.

In Deuteronomy it says The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” I know that the Lord himself has gone before Colton. He knew exactly how his little life would begin and he knows every step there after.  Colton I pray that you will be a Kingdom Builder and Culture Changer. Use your gift and talents for His Kingdom to bring Glory to God your father who saved you for such a time as this.

Life is messy…

Its been a little crazy the last few weeks. However, I feel like I now substitute the word “crazy” for “busy” these days.  In just a few short weeks, my third child will graduate from high school. That means for the past 3 years I have hugged my grown children and threw a party to celebrate their accomplishments and send them on their way to college, to adult decision making, to the freedom of being.

Life spins on… Summer is coming… family decisions to make, and life to live.  The thing about time spinning on, is that some days the spinning seems to fast and the moments go to quickly. This week, I was with a family, and unless a miracle occurs, one of them will lose the battle to cancer. There were tears, hugs, laughter, questions, prayers, more tears. Life has a way of catching us off guard.  We can’t control the number of breathes we take, but we can control how we handle the moments we have. We can enjoy each day, no matter what it brings.

I was just telling a couple of my kids that we have a choice to make. We can be vulture or a humming bird. One flies around all day looking for the dead, the decay, the bad laying around, while the other flies around all day looking or the beauty and the sweet.  We can choose to see the good around us. That doesn’t mean we don’t acknowledge that there are bad things going on, we just choose how we want to live and what our focus will be.

And some days I am the hummingbird. I can see the good, smell the sweet… and other days the vulture… the dead and decay seem to be all around me. And I want to give up. I want to retreat. But something brings me back…

I ask Jason this week why is it with all that has happened to us in our 21 years of marriage, why do we cling to each other instead of leave like so many others. What made us…us? It was a rough day, followed by several rough days in a row. Our hearts were broken for situations we have no control over.  Life is messy and spinning and I found myself asking questions and writing it out. ( Jason gets all the blogs that never make it to public view)


On that day my feelings were stuck in my throat. I kept choking back the big tears that threaten to spill down my cheeks. And yet there were a  few that  escaped and cascaded down my face.

Failure seems so terminal. You know? Its like it has a death sentence. And yet I know that isn’t true. I look around and I see failures, my own, those of people I love, those the media makes news… Failures happen. It is the lessons learned in them. My own failures are still teaching me lessons, sometimes I wonder why I haven’t learned the lesson yet, and other times I see that I am learning and growing because of them.

I listen to a man for cry out this week, that he didn’t want to die, I still hear his cries. I see his face. I feel his hand grasping mine.

 I do believe in grace and grace that is never ending. I believe that God forgives…always. And I believe that he loves us. I believe that he is faithful to forgive us and welcome us when we breathe our last if we confess our sins and honor him. My faith has questions just like everyone else. I don’t always understand His yes’s , His no’s and His wait… But I don’t have to understand… I just have to trust. (which goes back to my word for the year!)
Then there are days that I fear if most people could see inside I would be exposed as a fraud. That inside is messy, fearful, doubtful, a little girl looking for the safety of her Abba Father.
I seek God, and I know he isn’t hiding, and yet some days it feels like he is. Friends are not a few minutes away to go and vent, cry and seek together. What is familiar is gone, and vacations seem like a dream.
And 20 years of ministry with all of its stories, the good, the bad, the heartbreaking, the hurtful adds up in my heart and I wonder why would anyone sign up for this? Its heavy and overwhelming.
And here in the midst of it all, I feel like I am drowning… slowing at first and faster sinking deeper and deeper, not being able to catch my breathe. I see brighter days but only through the lens of my failure and will I ever be able to overcome. So here I am… at desk…filled with more questions and doubts than I have had in a long time and I surrender… again!
And maybe that is where it is at… the surrender over and over. The laying it all down when I pick it up. When I try to fix when I should just be trusting. Maybe its in the tears that trickle and some time stream down my face that shows God is still working on me, and that my heart isn’t hard towards him, and he is still molding me.
Maybe its in the worship song, that brings me to my knees with no spoken prayer…just tears being collected by the heavenly father who promised to never leave us or forsake us.
Maybe its in the clinging to my husband, when everyone else leaves. Maybe that is it, I conclude to Jason… that  we know that deep down God has us… and we cling to us out of our desperation for more. More of Him, less of us! More of what he can do, less of what we can do. More of his grace…because we need it! More of his wisdom…
SO maybe at the end of the day that’s it… its the good the bad the ugly and the beautiful that makes us equipped to do this thing…
In the middle of our mess….

For the One Percent…

Let me tell you a little bit about a place located in Allentown, PA. It actually sits in Upper Macungie Township. One of the fastest growing townships in PA. Allentown is the fastest growing city in PA. This place has been doing ministry for 102 years in Allentown. (more…)

It’s Just Not Fair…

I was reading this morning the parable of the Vineyard worker found in Matthew 20: 1-16. Jesus is telling the story of a man who owned a vineyard who needed workers. So he went to the marketplace to find workers. He hired them through out the day and promised them all a days wage. (more…)

You see it’s election time…

Its election time… election time is where people cast votes for the person they like the best and sometimes for the one they think is the lesser of two evils.  Its election time here for me too.  People will get to cast a ballot, they will vote yes or no. They will look at me under a microscope of what they want and cast a vote… the ballots will be counted and a decision will be made. It’s election time.


Its election time…  one of the biggest group of people in the United States of America are called Christians. By definition that means one of these things (taken from

1. of, relating to, or professing Christianity or its teachings.
“the Christian Church”
1. a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.

It’s election time…and this group of people in which I count myself are more divided than perhaps any other group. We don’t have a  united voice. We throw rocks with our words and actions. We write blogs, facebook post, twitter and make a statements about who and who isn’t a Christian in this election.

You see it’s election time…The “American Christian” community will be divided and it is not the USA of we hurt because of our division…it’s God kingdom. You see we probably won’t agree on who is the best candidate but I am afraid we don’t even agree on what we are voting for or why? One man runs and the “conservatives” rally behind him because he is a good moral person and calls himself a Mormon. Another man runs calls himself a Christian and the “conservatives” are outraged because his actions don’t scream Christian.

You see it’s election time…Some will vote for social justice, other will vote for constitutional rights, others will vote because one’s gender.  We will be widely divided when we should be holy united.

Abraham Lincoln said this in a speech in 1858 quoting from the words of Jesus found in the Gospels Mark and Matthew. “A house divided cannot stand”  Sadly, we are a house divided.  Our voice grows weaker and weaker as we lose sight of who we are representing…. Jesus!

We can’t even disagree with each other and still be friends. We block, unfriend, and shun because of differences of opinions. I just wonder if we posted as much about what Jesus is doing and what He can do in people’s lives if we would see more lives transformed by His grace and love.  If we would see marriages saved, addicts freed from addictions, children cared for, the hungry fed, and the need for government intervention decreased. I just wonder if we started focusing more on “being the church” if it wouldn’t matter who was in the Oval Office as much.  I just wonder if we took our concerns for these men and women running for office to our prayer closets instead of our social media if things would change quicker.


You see its election time…

to trust means less than ideal circumstances….

to trust means less than ideal circumstances….

My word for the year is trust. I should expect circumstances that help me grow in my ability to trust.

And really even though the plans aren’t going like I thought, I still do trust Him. I believe that He has the best in mind for all of us. I don’t doubt Him or His plan.

So I spent a lot of time thinking about my plans vs His plans. And really I believe that the plan that I had laid out was His plan, He just wanted to shake it up a little bit (or a BIG bit.) See my plan did include construction and prayer, just not now.  It did include a makeover for the youth room, just not today. My plan did include prayer, just not on this level.

This is how life goes though. We have hopes, dreams and plans.  God honoring dreams and plans. I know because my life has been filled with such things. And because we are human and only see the right now we make the best plans we can with what information we have. Sometimes we see the death of dreams take place so that better dreams can happen.  But only hindsight shows us those things. In the moment we feel the sting, we mourn the loss, or we question the why?

Here is the key and a question only you can answer… Do you believe God has your best in mind? Do you believe that God really wants what is best for you, your family, your community, your church? And if I am honest, sometimes I just think I know what is best. Only to realize I don’t know what He does.  And then….trust comes in the door. Faith takes root a little deeper… I read a quote by Nancy Willard…

” Live in your roots, not your branches”

I love that. If we live in the roots of our faith, we won’t be blown away when the plans change. Because we are safely secure in the roots of the One who created us, who loves us and has our best in mind.

So the journey of trust continues…

Oops… you just thought you knew what was next…

Have you ever had a really good plan? I mean you knew that it was the best next step and you were prepared to take it?  This year I laid out a plan. I wrote out a calendar. I even shared it with a few others. I knew the plan. I knew the best next strategic plan for our church, for our family and I was so excited about it.  I even prayed over it and about it. I sought counsel! I did all the things you are suppose to do….

Then all of a sudden, the plan isn’t working. Things happened. Big things. Little things. Medium  things… and all of the sudden I don’t know the plan. I know Who is writing the plan and I trust Him, but the plan I had isn’t the plan anymore.

Instead the new uncharted unplanned plan is leading me to intense time of prayer. It is leading me to lead others in a time of spiritual renewal and seeking. Instead the new plan will involve a huge construction project in the middle of Easter Season. In the middle of what I thought I would be doing, I find myself on my knees more and learning to wait in the hallway of unopened doors.  The new plan  requires more faith than perhaps I have ever had. The new plan will ask me to take risk, make big decisions. The new plan will propel me, my family  and my church into the next chapter a little quicker than I thought we would go.

Maybe like me you thought you knew the plan…and like me you find yourself just riding the waves of uncharted territory. I am thankful that even in the middle of the new plan I can rest in Him, Jesus. He is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), is He not? He knows what each chapter looks like from beginning to end, and He laid it all out before I even took my first breath.

So today I fall to my knees a little more frequent. I learn new things about Him and His next step and I throw my plan into the wind….

Is anyone out there…

Not even sure anyone still reads this… I myself let days, week and sometimes months go without as much as even logging in… Blank pages are intimidating… Words are powerful…and relationships are hard!

People write about all sorts of things these days. I find it unbelievable all the things people write about, take pictures of and do in our ever changing world.

For those of you who have read my blog for any length of time, you know that over a year ago, I lost all of my past blogs…maybe forever that is still unclear. And for some reason the other day I was thinking about all of them… all of the words that have been written that are simply gone now. Parts of me wants them back, so that I can see what they were, perhaps some were silly in nature, or angry, or trying to make some hidden point that really wasn’t all that hidden.  I hope some were filled with Hope and Christ’s love.

Words are powerful. We are getting into that time of year that happens every 4 years where I want to shut off all types of media so I don’t have to see or hear all the people talk about politics…who or who shouldn’t be our next president. I see Christians and Non Christians alike start tearing people apart… and I think we give Christ a black eye. My hope isn’t any one in Washington DC. Christ came to bring us all a full life. We should pray for our leaders and I do! But Christ doesn’t change based on who is residing in the White House! Whew! Boy am I thankful!

These days I find myself focusing in on a Word… Trust! My word for the year. And I think this word is super powerful. My verses of the year are found in Jeremiah 17:7-9. And it is a beautiful word picture of what trust looks like.

Verse 7 Starts with blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord. Those who understand that they can trust The Lord. But then it goes on to what I believe is another level. “whose trust is  the Lord”. Its just not trusting him but all of our trust rest in Him. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we can trust him in everything… everything. When it hurts, when its hard, when we cry, when we laugh, when we get a new president, when we wake up and when we go to sleep. We can trust him.  And when we do… we will be like a tree planted by the water, with deep roots, watered by the stream, when heat (worries, the hard times) comes we keep green leaves, and we are not anxious and we never cease to bear fruit.

Wow! Don’t we all want that? I do. This year, I focus on trusting him more. In perhaps one of the best and not the best  times of my life. And yet you can have both at the same time. I trust him to lead me when and where he chooses. I accept the hard things as learning, discipline and growing opportunities. I rest in the fact that I can lean on him when I can’t stand anymore.  I praise him for the great days that happen on regular bases. The answers to prayers, the life change, the Holy Spirit moments that are so powerful I can’t even put them into words.

This year I can’t script what will take place but this I know…He is already there and I can trust him! I can trust him without worry. I can rest in his unchanging grace and mercy. I can rest in his love for me… and so can you!


30 Days of Gratitude… Day 1

Gratitude…something we take for granted. The month of November somehow gets overlooked as simply the time and space between Halloween and Christmas. But November is the month of thankfulness. I try to be grateful everyday but I try to really focus in November on being grateful and not being caught up in the busyness of the Holiday season. To be intentional about slowing down and realizing how much I have to be grateful for.


Today, I am extremely grateful for my husband, Jason. He has been without a job for a few months and it has been extremely difficult on him and our family.  But today I am grateful for a new opportunity and a new job that he will start in the next couple of weeks.  The new journey is always marked with uncertainty but there is a peace that comes that God sees and walks this journey with us.


We take steps, we walk through the muck and the beauty knowing that God never leave us. Together, we find gratitude in each day so that we can live out faith. When we focus on gratitude we learn to embrace each day and each circumstance with a new appreciation for what God has done and is doing. So this November be grateful! Find something each day you can celebrate no matter how big or small.  Live in gratitude…

Remember when we used to be friends…

Remember when we used to be friends? You know the kind of friends that see each other face to face. Plan time together that included coffee, laughs and sometimes a few tears.  Or those times when a text or call would be the start of a long lengthy conversation solving the worlds’ problems. Do you remember when we could agree to disagree on our differences without fear of being called names? I remember… do you?

Now it seems we have been reduced to social media friends at best. We might stop in periodically to each other’s page to see what’s on your mind? But texts go unanswered, private messages sit staring that they have been read with no response, the phone doesn’t ring and the coffee dates are never scheduled.

I don’t think we meant for it to happen. Life has a way of stepping in and creating space and distance. But I wonder sometimes if it could be the way it used to be… I find myself asking the hard questions about our relationship? Did I do something? …or did we simply drift? Whatever it was I cherish the memories made.

In the midst of it all, our nation is divided on so many issues. Relationships are becoming more and more fragile. We begin to judge our loved ones and friends based on the blog, news article and status we share. We begin to see our differences of belief as reasons to discard each other and “unfriend” one another.  We are no longer offering grace and leading with love. We want everyone to see our view and our view only.

I am not writing this to anyone in particular and writing it for everyone…if that makes sense. You see relationships are tricky. Relationships are at the core of everything we do. We can’t escape them…even when we try.  I have been in ministry for 15 years and I have seen a good many relationships come and go. Marriages that I thought would last for sure…end. Marriages I thought for sure would not make it through the crisis…thrive. I have seen friendships that were as close as can be fade away to simply memories on the shelf.

I have spent countless hours counseling many people and at the heart of it all is relationships. Relationships with God or lack thereof…relationships with family members…relationships with spouses and children… I wish I could say that I have it all figured out. I wish that every relationship I had was perfect and what I wanted it to be…but I can’t. I have been guilty of neglect of the precious gift of friendship. I have been hurt by the casting aside of relationship. I have hurt people, and been hurt by people.

And yet I keep moving forward, asking forgiveness, forgiving others.  I put boundaries in place where they need to be and pray that they are the right boundaries. I pray everyday that God would give me wisdom as I navigate through all the different relationships He has trusted with me. I pray for those who have a bad taste in their mouth when they see my name or face on their newsfeed or hear someone mention me. I try to offer grace because I am in need of so much grace!

I want the world to know what I stand for…and not against. And I am for relationships… I really believe relationships matter! I really do believe that God loves everyone. RIGHT.WHERE.THEY.ARE! I really believe that we can have relationships with people who believe differently than us. And I really believe that we can work through incredibly messy stuff to be friends, family and live in community.

John 15: 12-15 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

I say all of this to say, relationships take work. The work will include laughs, tears, and determination.  Don’t give up! Keep moving forward! Keep forgiving and asking forgiveness! Don’t let pride, baggage and unmet expectations keep you from moving past the messy into the beautiful.