Wednesday, February 12, 2020

First Radio Show!

From the left: Kathleen, Kerry, and me the night we spoke

Are you wrestling with risk? Perhaps you are wanting to take that first step and looking for inspiration. Maybe you are in the thick of it and needing some encouragement to stay the course. In this radio show, I share personal insights and spiritual inspiration that can help! LISTEN BELOW!

I was delighted to be a guest on "Morphmom Moments" at the invitation of Morphmom Founder, Kathleen Butler-Smith. Kathleen is an attorney who left law to be home with her children. She later "morphed" into what she is doing now, which is inspiring women to think creatively about their time and passions too!

Kerry Barrett, Emmy-award winning journalist and now consulting company CEO, joined the conversation. After these two women were guests on my show, Chaos to Calm, we felt the need to keep talking about risk! Find out why Kerry was so afraid to risk and do public speaking...you'll hear a story about bullying that she wrestles with to this day.

After taping, Kathleen said that this was her best radio show yet! You can listen via this link: https://www.cityworldradio.com/morphmom-moments/

Click on the "Spreaker" show marked 1–30–20 on City World Radio. Please note that the show cuts out for a brief moment at the beginning, but I promise that it gets better and you won't want to miss it! (We spoke outside of the NYC studio because of my nursing schedule—I was morphmoming it even then!) A podcast for iTunes will be coming soon too!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

New Year's Resolution


It's a snow day today as I write. I had to take a deep sigh and release the appointments and plans I had made this morning. My children were home and excited to get outside. No school today meant an opportunity, and I'm glad I took advantage of it. We went sledding, threw snow balls, made snow angels, and ended the morning with hot cocoa. I remember my Mom making it for me on cold winter days. It's incredible to think I'm providing my children with the same memories with every stir of their hot drinks.

Looking around at the newly fallen snow got me thinking. Everything changes with it on the ground. Not only do schedules sometimes change, but have you ever noticed how much quieter the world gets under a blanket of snow? It's almost as if God is beckoning us to slow down and pay attention.  

The snow makes everything glisten. Even though it's covered in only white, it's far from monotonous. In fact, I love how Christmas lights burn brighter on green bushes under the snowflakes. The same scenery somehow takes on a totally different appearance. There is a purity to newly fallen snow on a field without footprints. There is a playfulness to the fluff as it collects on wispy branches. And there is the wintry reminder that it's a special time of year.

In winter we celebrate the hope of Christmas and the New Year. The New Year in particular offers a calendar reminder of new beginnings. There is power in new beginnings, as symbolized by the making of New Year's resolutions. We seek to take advantage of the opportunity it brings.

As Christians, we know about new beginnings too. A new beginning is offered when we pledge our lives to Christ and become his disciples. One is offered every time we pray for forgiveness. In truth, our souls become as clean as newly fallen snow through the power of the cross. For Isaiah 1:18 reads, "'Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow...'"

As much as the calendar serves as a reminder, a true new beginning is only offered through the cross. Only Christ can make our hearts as light and free as children dancing in the snowflakes. Only God can love our souls enough to clean them with his own Son's blood so they are as white as snow. Only the Holy Spirit can allow us to harness that power as we go forth into our lives as new creations.

Allow the New Year to remind you of what we have in Christ. New beginnings are always possible through him. Let's not just read the promises of scripture, but let's make it our New Year's resolution to write them across our hearts and live them! 

This is a repost from my 2014 entry, "New Snow and a New Year." Stay tuned for an upcoming podcast, in which I will be a guest on MorphMom Moments! More devotions for iBelieve and Crosswalk will be forthcoming too. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

New Devotion! One Gift to Grow This Christmas


Experience Christ's peace—just in time for Christmas! Discover how a snow globe can serve as a useful reminder to point us toward that peace. Merry Christmas!

Read: One Gift to Grow This Christmas

To read more devotions like this one, click on the "iBelieve devotion" label, which is on the right hand side of my homepage!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

New Devotion! What Christ's Light Means at Christmas


In this devotion, I explore the meaning of Christ as the Light of the world. You'll discover why Christmas falls when it does on our calendar and feel inspired to make a difference!

Read: This Little Light of Mine 

To read more devotions like this one, click on the "iBelieve devotion" label, which is on the right hand side of my homepage!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Christmas Children's Books Finds!


It's always a delight to team up with the Christian children's book publisher Zonderkidz! I got to preview some highlights of their Christmas collection this year. They provided me with 13 free books (a baker's dozen for the 12 days of Christmas) so that I could spread the word and some holiday cheer! Here is what I did with them:

First, I sent three books to my grade school nieces, who were baptized recently. My favorite Bible is Sally Lloyd-Jones' Jesus Storybook Bible. It is now offered in a beautiful light blue and gold, leather-bound gift edition. I purchased an extra one so that each of my nieces would have her own! Then, I sent A Savior Is Born: Rocks Tell the Story of Christmas by Patti Rokus to my older niece, who excels at crafting. I thought this book might inspire her to tell the story of Jesus' birth in her own medium! I sent Your Spark: Celebrating the Brightest Part of You! by Lisa Leonard to my younger niece. She has a special spirit that's worth celebrating!

Second, I gave A Night of Great Joy by Mary Engelbreit and Mouse's Christmas Gift by Mindy Baker to the associate pastor at my church. She does a lot of work with children and families, including organizing a Christmas pageant on Christmas Eve. A Night of Great Joy involves a children's pageant—my favorite part is the children's faces in the book. Anyone who has taught children will get a laugh out of that backstory! Mouse's Christmas Gift tells the story of how a little mouse makes a Christmas church service possible, even when the pastor is sick. This book celebrates that we all have something to offer in a Jesus' story that's much larger than ourselves, no matter how small we are!


Third, I donated four books to our Toys for Tots collection at my children's school. Did you know that the US Marine Corps Reserve collects books too, not just toys? I told my boys that books are gifts that keep giving, as they encourage learning, cannot break, and are something that can be enjoyed with others! I donated two board books: Michael W. Smith's Merry Christmas, Nighty Night and Tara Knudson's Christmas Cookie Day. The latter comes with a sweet recipe for cookie baking on the back cover! I also donated A Very Fiona Christmas by Richard Cowdrey and The Berenstain Bears Go Christmas Caroling by Mike Berenstain. The former is a celebration of animals at the Cincinnati Zoo!

Fourth, I kept four books for my family. Over Thanksgiving, I baptized my baby son. I will give him the Beginner's Bible Gift Edition for Christmas. It has beautiful gold foil on the cover as a special keepsake. The Beginner's Bible is the perfect first Bible for children—my older boys each got a copy when they were little too. I also kept A Christmas Gift for Santa by John T. Elkins—I adore the illustrations and print style in this book! The baby will enjoy My Christmas Story Tree board book by Mary Manz Simon. Finally, it's a tradition in my family that we read the story of Jesus' birth around the Christmas tree. This year, we read a retelling entitled 'Twas the Evening of ChristmasGlenys Nellist is the author; she's no stranger to my website and is a favorite in our house!


You can learn more about these books by visiting the whole Zonderkidz holiday collection. You will see another favorite there—author Laura Sassi's Goodnight, Manger! Stay tuned for Christmas inspiration to come on my website soon! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 9, 2019

New Devotions! 2 Encouragements for Times of Trouble


What kind of trouble might you be facing today? Perhaps bills are piling up and you’re dealing with financial uncertainty. Maybe you or a child is experiencing a difficult social situation at work or school respectively and it feels like a dark cloud is following you. Perhaps you or a loved one is fighting sickness, pain, or even death. If that is the case, this devotion offers hope. You'll learn about a passage in scripture that includes some of the oldest hymn fragments in the Bible, which offer special encouragement!


Click here to read my devotion, available on Crosswalk.com and iBelieve.com.

Devotion #2: What It Means That God Is Our Fortress

Discover how God still serves as a fortress today—God can help you keep the good in and the bad out, especially in times of trouble! 


Click here to read my devotion, available on Crosswalk.com and iBelieve.com.

Did you miss my two devotions last week? Read about the birth stories of my three sons, which point me toward our Creator, and how to live into the full expression of your birthright as a child of God! Also, watch my latest Chaos to Calm episode for inspiration to confront your fears and live your passion! Stay tuned later this week for a special Christmas children's book post!

TODAY Video Clip